News Feature

Stonington
Originally published in Compass, June 12, 2014
Events planned to celebrate Deer Isle-Sedgwick bridge anniversary

Deer Isle-Stonington and surrounding communities will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge on Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festivities will include a one-hour closure of the bridge from 10 to 11 a.m., as well as a rededication ceremony and the official opening of the new Bridge End Park on Little Deer Isle with music, food, and other activities. Hancock County Commissioner and Deer Isle native Percy “Joe” Brown will be the master of ceremonies.

On June 19, 1939, Maine Governor Lewis O. Barrows cut the ribbon to open the long awaited and hard fought for Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge. The Deer Isle-Stonington and Sedgwick historical societies will be on hand at Bridge End Park with the full story of the community’s six-years of work to get the bridge built. This story will also be memorialized in a new “popera” based on oral histories with community elders, The Last Ferryman, with music and lyrics by Paul Sullivan, August 14-24 at the Stonington Opera House, according to a news release from Opera House Arts.

Thanks to the Maine Department of Transportation, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, and the Deer Isle Fire Department, citizens will be able to Walk the Bridge, or participate in a 5K run over the bridge to benefit Bridge End Park, between 10 and 11 a.m. Traffic will be stopped on the Sedgwick side of the bridge, and before the Chamber of Commerce information booth on Little Deer Isle.

Those wishing to participate in the Bridge Walk should park in specially marked areas on the Sedgwick side of the bridge and arrive no later than 9:45 a.m. The Bridge will be closed and the Walk, along with a 5K Run to benefit the Bridge End Park, will start at 10 a.m. Walkers do not have to pre-register. No walkers will be allowed to start later than 10:30 a.m. No bikes or wheeled vehicles of any sort, other than baby strollers, are allowed. Dress for fun, but no banners or floats, please. Volunteer marshals are being sought and will work with the sheriff’s office and Deer Isle Fire Department to ensure the safety of all participants, including the passage of emergency vehicles if necessary.

Parking on the Deer Isle side of the bridge will be at the Chamber of Commerce information booth and along Eggemoggin Road on Little Deer Isle. There will be no parking along Route 15. Handicapped parking will be made available. Car pooling is strongly encouraged. For more information on the Bridge Walk, contact Opera House Arts at info@operahousearts.org or 367-2788.

Those participating in the 5K Benefit Run must pre-register with the event organizers. Contact Lisa Arhontes-Marshall, disbridgefunrun@gmail.com, for details on the Bridge Run.

Thanks to the Deer Isle-Stonington School District, a school bus will begin shuttling walkers back across the bridge to their cars in Sedgwick from the Deer Isle side when the bridge reopens promptly at 11 a.m. and will continue until the end of the day’s festivities at 2 p.m.

The Bridge Walk will continue even if it rains. Please dress appropriately. In case of rain, other activities at Bridge End Park may be cancelled. Check Opera House Arts’ Facebook page, Facebook/OperaHouseArts, for up to the minute details. Visitors and participants are encouraged to bring their waste out of the area when they leave.

Saturday, June 21, 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge:

7:30-9:30 a.m., Pancake Breakfast at Deer Isle Congregational Church;

10-11 a.m., Bridge Walk and 5K Benefit Run;

11 a.m., Re-dedication Ceremony and official opening of the new Bridge End Park. Hancock County Commissioner Percy “Joe” Brown, master of ceremonies;

10 a.m.-2 p.m., live music, food, boat rides, family activities and information booths, Bridge End Park, featuring the Deer Isle-Stonington High School band conducted by Beth Kyzer;

11:30 a.m.- 2 p.m., Lobster/Clam Bake sponsored by the Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce;

8 p.m., 75th Anniversary Community Dance with live music by Lake Larsson and the Soul Benders at the Stonington Opera House.

Several area galleries are also coordinating exhibits with the bridge’s 75th anniversary. There will be an opening of one such special exhibit at the Deer Isle Artists Association on Friday, June 20, from 5-7 p.m.

The Bridge 75th Anniversary celebrations have been organized by a loose coalition of officials, community members and groups, including the Bridge End Citizens’ Initiative and the Deer Isle Selectmen, with facilitation by Opera House Arts in Stonington. For additional information, contact the Opera House at info@operahousearts.org, or 367-2788.