WHAT IS IT? The groundbreaking occurred Monday morning for the city of Hannibal's riverfront renovation project

The city of Hannibal officially kicked off its multi-million dollar riverfront renovation project on Monday morning using gold-painted shovels on loan from the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau (HCVB), which staged a groundbreaking of its own just last week for its new visitor welcome center.

The official groundbreaking took place even as heavy equipment was already at work a little more than 100 yards away in what had previously been Nipper Park.

Mayor James Hark and Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department, addressed the group of approximately 60 onlookers that gathered as light snow fell.

Hark cited the river’s importance to Hannibal, suggesting that without it there might not have been a Mark Twain.

Dorian said the current renovation grew out of a few infrastructure repairs that were needed.

danny.henley@courierpost.com