Celebrations For The Opening And Closing Of Two Bridges
Kelly Brenner Photography
The official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge is scheduled for Wednesday, August, 2, 2017, at 10:00 am on the Minnesota side of the new bridge. Governors and state and local officials from both Minnesota and Wisconsin will be in attendance for the one-hour ceremony, and this event is open to the public. Public parking will be at the old Fury Motors lot (highway 36 and Osgood across from Walgreens), the Stillwater Middle School (formerly the Stillwater Junior HS at 523 Marsh St W), and the Stillwater Area High School (5701 Stillwater Blvd N). There will be shuttle services running from 8:00 am – 9:00 am, compliments of Minnesota Central Bus Company, to bring people to the ceremony location, and again returning shuttles back to the designated lots following the event. There is no public parking on or near the bridge. Immediately following the ceremony, the City of Oak Park Heights and Town of St. Joseph invites everyone to attend an ice cream social at the Oak Park Crossing Park, 15125 60th Street North, located next to Club Tara. See maps and shuttle information here.
Starting at 6:00pm the same evening, the City of Stillwater and civic leaders are partnering to expand the already scheduled “Cruisin’ on the Croix” classic car show to a public festival billed as “Cruisin to Closure” to celebrating the closing of the historic lift bridge. “We don’t know what time MnDOT will throw up the ‘bridge closed’ sign and do the permanent traffic shift, but we’ll be downtown celebrating until they do” stated Kozlowski.
The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce members are celebrating this huge milestone by offering “Bridge-Bash-Specials” to invite folks into local establishments to celebrate this historic time. Check out some great deals here. “Businesses are optimistic about these two historic milestones, the opening of the new bridge, and the closing of the lift bridge. I believe locals will reunite with their hometown with easier access to downtown and the surrounding areas. No more sitting in traffic. More local shopping, visiting our fabulous restaurants, and enjoying the small-town experience, the reason why many of us live here,” says Executive Director, Robin Anthony.
Ten days later, the City of Stillwater is planning a Community Street Dance on Chestnut Street, Saturday, August 12 from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm. The idea for the dance is a reflection to the celebration that took place in 1931 when the lift bridge opened. “We thought we should have a community celebration of the closing of the lift bridge, the highlight of this event would be a polka dance,” said Councilmember and Chamber Board Member Mike Polehna. The city council approved the closure of Chestnut Street from Water Street to the lift bridge for the street dance, and the use of the adjacent parking lots for food vendors and a beer tent.
To wrap up the celebrations this year the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with New Richmond and Somerset Chambers, are going aboard the Majestic Star Stillwater River Boat on August 16th. For more information, and to purchase tickets, contact the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce at 651-439-4001 or go online here.
“Together we have a lot to celebrate in the beautiful St. Croix Valley these days, as we continue Bridging Business & Community,” said Anthony.