Bridging 127 Years of History

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12:54 pm | June 12, 2013

On Saturday June 22, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, join the City of Pasadena as it marks its 127th birthday and Pasadena’s beloved landmark, the Colorado Street Bridge, commemorates its 100th anniversary with the special participation of the Pasadena Museum of History.

Jeannette Bovard, media consultant for Pasadena Museum of History, explains the tie-in of the bridge’s anniversary and the City’s birthday: “We are using the Colorado Street Bridge’s milestone to set the theme for this year’s birthday festivities, kicking off the centennial celebrations with this party and also utilizing the “bridging” concept to explore all the region’s physical bridges as well as links to other facets of this diverse community.”

The celebrations will include a gala cake cutting ceremony with Mayor Bogaard and other dignitaries at 3:00 pm, followed by cake for all courtesy of Vons/Pavilions.

Entertainment will be a whole day affair with the following events:

- The Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association will keep party-goers on their toes with a variety of dances and demonstrations. Join in or sit, relax, and enjoy the show!

- History “Pods” have become a defining and much-anticipated feature of Happy Birthday Pasadena events. This year we celebrate Pasadena’s physical bridges and use the concept of bridging to explore other facets of our City’s vibrant lifestyle:

• Bridges to Community – Meet Pasadena’s community of Bloggers! They are our eyes and ears; they share Pasadena-related thoughts, images, inspirations, and news from unique perspectives. Here’s your chance to chat with them in person.
• Bridges to Exploration – From Pasadena to Mars and beyond: JPL representatives will amaze, enlighten, and inspire you!
• Bridges to Health – Did you know that many early Pasadena settlers came here seeking health cures? Our amazing medical history comes to life in this presentation.
• Bridges to History – Our iconic landmark, the Colorado Street Bridge, is 100 years old in 2013. Pasadena Heritage will preside over a display that celebrates this milestone and all of our City’s physical bridges.
• Bridges to Imagination – Kidspace Children’s Museum and Side Street Projects will keep youngsters fully engaged in imaginative, hands-on projects. Meanwhile, Gold Bug, Old Pasadena’s neo-Victorian emporium, will amuse, engage, and delight the imagaination and senses of visitors of all ages.
• Bridges to Understanding – The Pasadena Sister Cities Committee will feature details about our special relationships with Ludwigshafen, Germany; Mishima, Japan; Jarvenpaa, Finland; Vanadzor, Armenia; and Xicheng District, Beijing, China.
- “World’s Smallest Motor” – In 1959 famed CalTech physicist Dr. Richard Feynman offered a $1,000 prize to anyone able to make an operating electric motor only 1/64th of an inch cubed (about the size of a speck of sand). Pasadena’s William McLellan, a CalTech graduate and miniaturization specialist, successfully claimed the prize just a year later, effectively ushering in the field of nanotechnology. The McLellan family recently donated the tiny motor to PMH, and we are presenting in in a special display — mounted under a microscope — in the Archives on this celebratory afternoon.

For the children’s activities, three outstanding organizations will engage youngsters in the art, innovation and science of bridges:

- Kidspace Children’s Museum will host a hands-on bridge-building workshop with different types of materials to discover which work well, which do not, which structures are more successful and why. A weight test will let us see if our bridges could accommodate passengers safely. Have fun while learning the physics behind bridges – why certain structures work and why some bridges collapse! Our youngest visitors will join the fun, building bridges with blocks.

- Side Street Projects will invite children and family members to create an imaginative bridge from the perspective of the surrounding wildlife, using biodegradable materials. Use your imagination! How would a fish design a bridge? What would a butterfly do? Using the format of a suspension bridge, kids will create a combination 2-D/3-D project inspired by the Arroyo Secco wildlife below the Colorado Street Bridge.

- We will present three storytelling productions on the Museum Stage at 1:30 pm– all around our theme of ‘bridges.” WTS performances blend storytelling and audience participatory theatre to bring world folklore, fairy tales, literature, legends, and mythology to joyful life.

It’s going to be a grand day of celebrating, but with a host of educational activities and fun entertainment as well. In what will most surely be a grand day for the whole City of Pasadena, everyone is urged to join and not miss this once a year celebration.

If all the above isn’t enough to entice you, keep in mind that admission and parking is free.

To learn more about the celebrations, visit