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Pasadena Heritage’s Virtual Colorado Street Bridge Party Spans This Entire Week

We’re publishing pictures of the last Bridge Party, in 2018, to get you in the mood
Published on Aug 7, 2020

Colorado Bridge Partygoers rock out to the Jimbonaires at sunset during the 2018 event. Photo by James Carbone

Every other year, Pasadenans gather in glee and beer, revelling to the sights and sounds of the Colorado Street Bridge Party, produced by Pasadena Heritage. Bands rock the structure, cool cars preen at the entrance, and way more than you can eat and drink is readily available.

This weekend, you’re gonna need to park your ride on your lawn, fill your fridge with cold fried chicken and brew, crank up the tunage and watch the event unfold online. The 2020 Bridge Party, originally scheduled for Mid-July, is happening this weekend at your desk, on your couch, and in your hand.

Pasadena Heritage Executive Director Sue Mossman with Jim Zelenay, then the Pasadena Heritage Board Chair, at the 2018 Bridge Party. Photo by James Carbone

It’s a week-long virtual celebration of the celebration, and it’s all virtual this year.

There is, however, one event of the week-long celebration that you can actually attend, and even participate in—the annual custom and classic car cruise through Pasadena’s historic districts.

The route has been specially designed to go through some of Pasadena’s historic districts. Participants will gather at 9:00 am  at Rose Bowl parking Lot “B”. The 14-15 mile cruise begins promptly at 9:30 am, and ends at the Del Rosa Lot on South Grand Ave. So, if you want to ride, follow the guidelines set out by the City of Pasadena to ensure all participants remain safe.

You should know the drill by now, friends. Stay in your car during the cruise and wear a face mask when your  windows are down. All spectators on the route are also required to wear face masks and practice social distancing. The full list of guidelines can be found here.

There is no fee to participate and no requirement for registration. Drivers need to follow traffic laws and have valid drivers licenses and insurance. If you have a custom, classic or vintage vehicle, and wish to participate. You can click here to download the route map. For turn by turn directions,  click here.

All driving participants should also adhere to all rules of the road. No burnouts and no engine revving, motorheads.

All participants are also required to wear masks,  if car windows are down or in a convertible or open-air car.

Monday, August 10, brings a lecture on the history of the bridge with Author Chip Jacobs, at 6 p.m. Bestselling author and journalist Chip Jacobs will help share the history and of the fight to save this landmark structure. Jacobs’ writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, CNN, Wired and elsewhere. His most recent book is his debut novel, Arroyo, an entertaining work of historical fiction that swirls around construction of the Colorado Street Bridge beginning in 1911.

Jennifer Murphy of Pasadena with a furry friend, both enjoying the 2018 Colorado Street Bridge Party. Photo by James Carbone

Continuing the week, on Tuesday, August 11th, there will be a panel discussion  on Fencing on the Colorado Street Bridge

Over the course of its history, the bridge has earned an unwelcome reputation as a site for suicides. Following a flurry of attempts in 2017,  a Task Force was formed and worked for more than a year to provide recommendations for a solution to the dilemma.

Preservation Director Andrew Salimian will host a panel discussion with fellow Task Force members and project architects to discuss the process and design outcome for a proposed new fence.

Not to leave the little ones out, the Bridge Party has always been a time for Pasadena’s youngest to learn and  enjoy their local history.

Children and families  are invited to join the party, Wednesday, August 12, on Zoom for two programs— a virtual drum circle with Alan Bruni, which begins at noon, followed by story time with Patty Judy at 6 p.m.

Patty will be reading a children’s book,  naturally,  about bridges. After the story, Patty will lead a friendly interview with Chris Peck, architect, engineer and founder of PECK Architecture Structural Civil, with a hands-on bridge building activity. If you’d like to join the exercise, a supply list for bridge building will also be provided online, in advance.

It isn’t a bridge party without the tunes, so Pasadena Heritage will also present a video montage of some of the bands who have rocked the bridge over the years.  You and your cold fried chicken can dance the night away, beginning on Thursday. If you insist on doing either the Chicken Dance, or the Funky Chicken, that’s on you.

A couple toasts as the sun sets during the 2018 Colorado Street Bridge Party. Photo by James Carbone

On Friday, August 14, comes the drinking and like your favorite bar, there’s going to be a trivia contest. You can join the virtual happy hour and enjoy some beers from Eagle Rock Brewery, along with expert beer brewers and Pasadena Heritage docents, who will host the virtual beer tasting, followed by a fascinating session of Pasadena and the Colorado Street Bridge trivia.

The capacity for this event is limited, and if you really want to join the party, beer must be ordered through Eagle Rock Brewery, beforehand.

On Saturday, August 15th, Pasadena Heritage will look back on  the entire wingding and all of the virtual events. Tune in to see all  the presentations and activities of the week,  and to thank all who participated in this year’s Virtual Celebration of the Colorado Street Bridge.

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