The Lake Champlain Bridge Community, composed of New York and Vermont residents, will hold a grand opening gala for the Lake Champlain Bridge May 19 and 20.
The Lake Champlain Bridge is a key to the region’s success. If there was ever any doubt about it, residents quickly learned of the span’s importance when it was unexpectedly closed in 2009.
Now, with a new bridge in place, a party will be held May 19 and 20 to highlight the link between New York and Vermont.
The Lake Champlain Bridge Community, composed of New York and Vermont residents, will hold a grand opening gala for the span.
Buy our award-winning souvenir bridge book
Be sure to pick up an edition of the award-winning, 132-page “Lake Champlain Bridge Commemorative Book” during the bridge celebration May 19-20. The book, which includes 38 stories and more than 90 photographs, is a collection of memories that explores the history of the original 1929 bridge and the construction of the new one. It will be available at a booth in front of the Bridge Restaurant just over the bridge in Vermont and at a booth just before the Crown Point State Historic Site in New York. The cost of the book remains a very reasonable $5.
“Things are going very well; it’ll be a wonderful event,” said Sue Hoxie, Lake Champlain Bridge Community communications chairwomen. “We have lots of artists, performers, craftspeople. We’ll have tents set up on both sides of the lake, New York and Vermont. It’ll be great.”
The grand opening was scheduled to coincide with the actual bridge completion. When the contractor couldn’t give the Lake Champlain Bridge Community a definite completion date, the grand opening was delayed. The bridge actually opened to traffic last October.
“It would have been nice to have the grand opening when the bridge actually opened, but this has given us more time to plan and raise money,” Hoxie said. “It’s given us an opportunity to have an even bigger and better event.”
Hoxie said the Lake Champlain Bridge Community expects 10,000 people to attend the two-day affair.
Things will get under way with an opening ceremony May 19 at 9 a.m. at Fort St. Frederick at the Crown Point, N.Y., State Historic Site. Following the ceremony there will be a “Meet & Greet” with dignitaries at the Crown Point State Historic Site Museum until 11 a.m.
Vendors will open at 10 a.m. and the bridge parade will start at 11 a.m. from the Vermont side of the lake. The Chimney Point, Vt., State Historic Site, will open immediately following the parade. At 1 p.m. there will be a boat flotilla on the lake and musical performances will begin. There will be a vintage car show 1 to 5 p.m. at Crown Point State Historic Site.
The Chimney Point State Historic Site will close at 5:30 p.m. At 6 p.m. musical performances will end and vendors will close for the day along with the Crown Point State Historic Site Museum. Food vendors will close at 6:30 p.m.
People are invited to line up at the Chimney Point State Historic Site at 6:15 p.m. to dance across the bridge’s pedestrian walkway to the Crown Point State Historic Site, where there will be a street dance beginning at 7 p.m.
Activities will resume on May 20 with a 6 a.m. Sunrise Service on pedestrian walkway.
At 10 a.m. vendors, the Chimney Point State Historic Site Museum and Crown Point State Historic Site Museum will open and musical performances will begin. The vintage car show will again be open 1 to 5 p.m. at Crown Point State Historic Site. At 3 p.m. there will be a 5-kilometer road race that starts at the Crown Point State Historic Site, crosses the bridge and returns to the New York side of the lake.
The Chimney Point State Historic Site Museum and Crown Point State Historic Site Museum will close at 5 p.m.
A closing ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Chimney Point State Historic Site main performance tent. All vendors will close at 6 p.m.
At dusk the grand opening celebration will conclude with a fireworks display and music.
Roadways and driveways within the sites will be closed to traffic other than shuttle buses from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Parking will be in designated areas only.
Food vendors participating include Ahli Baba’s, The Bridge Restaurant, Crown Point Barbecue Restaurant & Catering, Eddie’s Restaurant, Euro Restaurant, George's Nest/That's a Party!, Samosaman and the West Addison General Store.
Craft vendors include Adirondack Aromatherapy, Barbara Ekedahl Woodblock Art, Big Paws Woodworks, Cacklin' Hens: A VT Yarn, Bead & Gift Emporium, Champ’s Trading Post, Charlie Palmer, Connie Cassevaugh, E. J.’s Dolls, Eagle's Flight Farm, Early Light Photography, Gifts by Doris, Happy Hands Gallery/Jeri Muhlhausen, Heartacre Crafts, High Design Creative Group, Independence Petting Farm, Irie Project - Rustic Furniture, Kyra Wilson Studio, Little Red Pennies, Maura Clancy Baskets, Middlebury Mountaineer/Green Mt. Adventures, Mike Mayone Fine Art, Mike's Coin Crafts, Moonlit Alpacas, Moriah Chamber of Commerce, Mt. Lakes Services, Mud Puppy Pottery, Norton's Gallery, Paper Girl Publications/Jean Arleen Breed, RaShaes Treasaes, Sarah Wesson Studio, Shoreham Bell Museum, Snowshoe Publishing, Stacie Mincher Designs, Stephanie Larsen Studios, The Venerable Bead, Vermont's Own Products, W D Pottery and Wicked Rebirth.
Performers include Atlantic Crossing, Carol Reed and the Lake Champlain Waldorf School Dancers, Center Stage Irish Dancers, Champlain Valley Chorale, Champlain Valley Strings, Dorothy Jane Siver Band, Ghosts of Greybeard, Hanaford’s Volunteers Fyfe and Drum Corps, John Krueger, Kyle Lang, LC Jazz, Loose Connection, Middlebury Union High School Jazz Ensemble, Middlebury Union High School Women's Ensemble, Mountain Weavers' Fiber Arts Guild, Mt. Lakes Services Band Generationz, Panhandlers Steel Band, Patti Casey & Bob Amos, Penelope the Clown, Rehab Roadhouse, Shellhouse, The Seth Warner Mt. Independence Fife & Drum Corps, Step 'n' Time Line Dancers of Central Vermont, Thistle Tulla Carson, TNT Dance Factory, Weston Bessette Quartet with Special Guest Doug Perkins and Womensing.