News Feature

Stonington
Originally published in Compass, May 22, 2014
Community celebration planned for Deer Isle-Sedgwick bridge anniversary

Deer Isle-Stonington Bridge to turn 75

Nearly 75 years ago the Deer Isle-Stonington Bridge was opened to the public with much fanfare, above. On June 21 the community will gather to celebrate the anniversary with a variety of events. More information about the day’s activities will be available as the date draws closer.

Penobscot Bay Press file photo

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.

On Saturday, June 21, the island community and those on the mainland side of the bridge will gather at the new Bridge End Park at the foot of the bridge on Little Deer Isle to celebrate the bridge’s 75th anniversary.

The schedule for the day includes the closure of the bridge from 10 to 11 a.m. for a Bridge Walk, allowing people to experience the bridge and its views on foot.

All of the following events will take place at Bridge End Park on June 21:

• 10 a.m. Bridge Walk

• 11 a.m. Rededication Ceremony, Official Opening of the new Bridge End Park

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

• 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Live music, food, boat rides, family activities and information booths

A loose coalition of island and mainland residents, including municipal officers from Deer Isle and Stonington, representatives from nonprofit groups including the Bridge End Citizens Initiative, the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society, Island Heritage Trust, and Opera House Arts, and local business people and individuals has planned the celebration.

The next and final community planning meeting will be held Thursday, May 29, at 4 p.m. at the Stonington Opera House. All are welcome to attend and participate. If you are unable to attend but would like to participate as a food vendor, with an activity, or as a musician or walker, contact Linda Nelson at lnelson@operahousearts.org.

Further details regarding parking, shuttles, etc. will be made available in early June.

The June 21 Community Celebration at the Bridge is one of three Bridge 75th Anniversary events planned for the next four months. The first is May 30 at 9:50 a.m. at the Reach Performing Arts Center, when Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School students will demonstrate the performances, artwork, and videos they have created about the Bridge as part of Opera House Arts The Bridge Project’s year-long visiting artists at the school. The final celebration will be the world premiere of OHA’s new “popera,” The Last Ferryman, August 14-24, with music and lyrics by Paul Sullivan and book by Linda Britt, all based on historical research and oral histories from island residents about the bridge.

For additional information about any portion of OHA’s The Bridge Project, including the community meetings, the new musical, or the educational project, contact Opera House Arts at lnelson@operahousearts.org, or 367-2788.