RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Arthur Ashe Boulevard was officially unveiled Saturday in honor of the late tennis star.
The ceremony – and renaming of the street – has been in the works for a while and was welcomed by everyone in attendance.
“Three, two, one…wooo!” the crowd cheered as the street sign was unveiled for the first time.
Arthur Ashe was not only a famous tennis star player but a civil rights pioneer.
“This stretch of State Route 161 will never be the same after today. Today, Route 161 is getting an upgrade,” said Mayor Levar Stoney.
Continuing to build on Ashe’s legacy in the city of Richmond and beyond, the ceremony dedicated to the official renaming brought of hundreds of locals.
David Harris, Ashe’s nephew told 8News “we thought that it might be a small blip on the radar.”
For Richmonders like Linda Jackson, the unveiling was her chance to be a part of history.
“I’m feeling exhilarated and exuberant,” she told 8News.
Ashe’s nephew said seeing his uncle’s name during the unveiling ceremony gave him a “surreal and jubilant feeling.”
“It’s a spectacular moment,” he added.
As for the people in the community, Linda Jackson says her “heart is so full of joy.”
For Jackson and many others, the sign is bigger than just a name.
“I’m thinking about my parents and my grandparents who never would’ve thought that this would’ve ever happened here in the city of Richmond on the same street where we see statues of Confederate generals and so forth,” Jackson said.