Town leaders from East Haddam and Haddam and representatives from both towns’ historical societies are planning big things to celebrate the centennial of the famous Swing Bridge.
The roster of events so far includes morning parade across the bridge and a commemoration ceremony planned for Saturday, June 15, 2013.
The East Haddam Swing Bridge officially opened on Flag Day, June 14, 1913 with a community celebration that included a band concert, an automobile parade and speeches by Gov. Baldwin and others commemorating the life of the Connecticut’s Revolutionary hero Nathan Hale, who taught school in East Haddam, CT.
A century later, similar community-themed festivities will include participation by Goodspeed Musicals, Moodus Drum & Fife Corps and Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, as well as businesses and community groups on both sides of the Connecticut River.
A detailed event program will be available as the event draws near.
Among the events confirmed thus far is a season-long exhibit on the history and construction of the bridge, considered an engineering marvel in its time, that will be open to the public at the East Haddam Historical Society Museum. An art exhibit featuring the Swing Bridge theme is also planned at the museum.
The Haddam Historical Society also will prepare a traveling exhibit,“Crossing the River,” about the ferries and the bridge.
On June 15, antique cars will participate in the parade across the bridge, which begins at 9 a.m., and car clubs will hold a car show in the area.
Also on that date, Goodspeed Musicals, celebrating its 50th anniversary, also will hold a Family Lawn Party outside the Goodspeed Opera House, from approximately 10:30 a.m. until noon. Hands-on activities will showcase various facets of musical theater – such as tap dance instruction, stage makeup and set design.
Steam train and riverboat rides to and from the Swing Bridge celebration will be offered by Essex Steam Train and Riverboat.
And a Children’s Carnival with old-fashioned games and prizes will be sponsored by the East Haddam Business Association.
Visit the calendar section of www.easthaddam.org for updates and more details on the Swing Bridge Centennial and other activities in the town that loves to celebrate “History, Arts and Natural Beauty.”
Posted February 15, 2013
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