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International Bridge lighting ceremony,
bridge walk next week
June 22, 2012 -- Two of the primary 50th anniversary celebration events at the International Bridge are scheduled for next Thursday, June 28, and Saturday, June 30, in Sault Ste. Marie.
On Thursday at about 10:30 p.m., members of the bi-national Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge Authority (SSMBA) board will light commemorative lights on the bridge in a community celebration at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. There will be a secondary site at the Soo Locks public viewing area in Sault, Mich.
At the ceremony, members will throw the switches, illuminating red and white rope lights that grace the east side of the curved portion of the Canadian arch section of the bridge, and red, white, and blue rope lights on the curved portion of the U.S. double-arch section.
Festivities and announcements will begin at 8:30 p.m. Both the bridge lights and a bi-national fireworks display following the ceremony will be visible from both Saults.
The International Bridge Administration (IBA) intends to have the anniversary lighting strands lit during evening hours routinely throughout 2012 and the following years, as long as the industrial rope lighting strands can be safely maintained. The 5,476 feet of rope lights were installed this spring by the IBA maintenance crew with the assistance of the MDOT reach-all crew.
On Saturday, the 26th annual bridge walk will be a special celebration. This year's event has been expanded to include a bike parade across the bridge and back, revolving historic digital photo displays, a 50th anniversary video presentation and bus tours across the bridge guided by bridge staff.
The bridge walk is sponsored by both Sault chambers of commerce, and is hosted by International Bridge staff. It is the only time of year when pedestrians are allowed to cross the bridge.
The bike parade has been added this year to celebrate the fact that, unlike other international crossings, bicycles have always been allowed to cross the bridge as toll paying customers. Festivities begin at 7:30 a.m., with the bike parade at 9 a.m. and the bridge walk starting at 10 a.m, sharp.
More information on these celebration events, as well as other celebration initiatives, is available on the bridge celebration Web site, www.saultbridge.com.
Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge
"Celebrating 50 Years of International Friendship, 1962 - 2012"