There were plenty of things that happened in 2018 that would not have been predicted.
That Build a Bear promotion came out of nowhere and was kinda wild, in the sheer number of people who were excited at the idea of getting a cheap teddy bear.
Seeing Snoop Dogg on stage at Woodward Park (on time no less, and smoking a blunt while Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer lingered nearby in the crowd) was certainly not expected and something some didn’t think would happen even after the Grizzly Fest headliner was announced.
Other things, we probably could have seen coming.
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That one was actually predicted (sort of) by blogger Mike Seay in a story last December.
The rest of the predictions weren’t as spot-on.
Fresno City Council
Along with the Amazon prediction, Seay was fairly certain that some one on the Fresno City Council would say or do something he’d find cringe-worthy. And we had councilman Steve Brandau’s comments about the Leadership Counsel (he called group members “poverty pimps”) and retweet of a right-wing Swedish nationalist.
But the real cringe-worthy moment for Seay didn’t come from the council, but from mayor Lee Brand, whose attacks on the parks tax Measure P helped lead to its failure on the November ballot. That’s was the opinion from no less than former mayor Alan Autry, at any rate.
It for sure caused some hurt feelings.
Fulton street revitalization
Veronica Stumpf predicted an uptick in real estate and retail investment along the Fulton corridor. Something like the State Center Community College District moving its headquarters into the old Guarantee Savings building, perhaps. Or Club One Casino buying a portion of the former Gottschalks building.
I predicted we’d also get a sign-on from a major chain like Starbucks or Pete’s Coffee. That did not happen, though some are pushing hard to get Dutch Bros. downtown.
On the entertainment front, radio DJ Danny Salas predicted Fresno would get a visit from Jay-Z and Kanye West on the “Sorry, No Refunds” tour. He was being funny. There was no such tour.
There was a Jay-Z tour with Beyonce, which was rumored to be coming to Fresno for all of about a minute thanks to some sketchy online event pages. We did get some big touring shows in 2018, however. That included Justin Timberlake’s “Man of the Wood” tour, until it got postponed.
It was a joke of sorts, predicting that the longtime Tower District hub wouldn’t reopen in 2018. After all, the place had already been closed for a year and there was significant work being done inside the restaurant in December 2017 and word was the place would be open in February.
By August, the place still hadn’t opened.
But then in early December ‘Stones was back, like some kind of early Christmas gift.
It was the second bit of good news for those watching the Tower District. In November, Full Circle Brewery announced it would be taking over the old Audie’s Olympic/Club Fred space on Van Ness Avenue. The brewery’s new tap room has its soft opening New Year’s Eve.
It’s probably time to check back in on the old Landmark spot.
It was clear that there would be some movement on marijuana in 2018, what with its legalization throughout the state. I predicted you would be able to buy marijuana in the city of Fresno by the end of the year, if not for recreation, then medically, at least.
While you can grow your own marijuana (indoors, at least) and have it delivered, there are no legal dispensaries in the city.
Yet. That’s a prediction for 2019.