Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's Almost Here! Bridge Grand Opening on Saturday

Wow! The Grand Opening is just a few short days away! It starts at 10am this Saturday, April 18th.

The ceremony will feature music by the 234th Army Band and presentations by Salem Mayor Janet Taylor, Senator Peter Courtney, Senator Jackie Winters, Congressman Schrader’s Field Representative for Marion County, Jon Pugsley, Councilor Dan Clem, and Friends of Two Bridges Chair, Hazel Patton.

A formal ribbon cutting will follow the presentations and then the inaugural bridge parade will begin. The bridge parade will be led by the North Salem Color Guard and will feature Mayor Janet Taylor on the SANYO electric hybrid eneloop bike, followed by the 234th Army Band.

Event attendees will be joined by local mascots, including A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village’s “Bubble Girl,” Salem’s Riverfront Carousel’s “Ambassador,” and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoe’s “Crater” to complete the procession across the bridge. Following the parade, attendees will enjoy cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, and family activities in Wallace Marine Park.

In addition, local businesses will be offering special opportunities for attendees in honor of this momentous occasion: The Willamette Queen Sternwheeler will be offering a 9:45 a.m. Union Street Railroad Bridge Ribbon Cutting Cruise for $5.00 per person; A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village will be hosting a FREE day for families from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Dragon Boat Club representatives will be available at the docks in Riverfront Park to answer questions about the boats and club involvement; and Downtown and West Salem merchants will be open for Saturday shopping and meals.

The event will be crowded, and the weather looks to be good, so we encourage people to walk and bike! If you must drive, park on the west side, in Wallace Park, and use the old Center Street Bridge path to get to the east side. Click through for a larger version of this map for more detailed directions.

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