KINGMAN – The streetscaping project underway in downtown Kingman poses a challenge for the upcoming annual Andy Devine Days parade. Phase 1 of the $7-million infrastructure upgrade occupies a prime portion of the parade route between Second and Third Sts., on Beale St., between Pawn World and the Circle K store.

The Parks and Recreation Department has historically been in charge of the parade. Recreation Superintendent Yvonne Cossio said she and Assistant Public Works Director Jack Plaunty were unsuccessful in resolving the conflict between the project and parade.

“He and I looked at it and said `what if we did this and what if we did that,’” Cossio said. “We did try re-routing it, and when we looked at it, we can’t.”

Cossio said residential presence and other issues eliminated diversion options, producing the decision to clean up the construction site and push the Sept. 16 parade through the work zone. That means parade participants accustomed to having a full four lanes of roadway to work with will now have to pinch through a block where the newly configured passageway is restricted to 21 ft. in two places.

Cossio said most parade entries will have no problem with that width restriction, but that high school marching bands and the Shriner Clubs’ bike, trike and mini cars will have to adjust.

“They’re going to have to narrow down where those pop outs are,” Cossio said. “The Shriners are used to performing the width of the street and riding side by side. They won’t able to there. They’ll have to fit.”

Many have used the sidewalk areas on both sides of the current construction zone to take in the western-flavored, homespun parade.

“Spectators can either choose to sit behind the orange barricades or they can sit further up Beale, or perhaps congregate up to Oak to see the parade there versus Beale St.,” Cossio said.

Cossio said she is uncertain about future downtown parades when several blocks more of the Beale St. Infrastructure program will be completed next year.

Parks Director Mike Meersman said it may ultimately be decided to keep the traditional parade route in play, with the new streetscape features possibly providing even a better experience. He said this year’s event may prove useful as a test run for what may or may not change in the future.