Brooklyn Bridge 125th Birthday
The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City will celebrate its 125 years in May, 2008 and New York is ready to celebrate. Events will include a special bridge lighting, concerts, lectures, a film series and family events. Beginning May 22, the five day festivities will kick off with a performance by the Brooklyn Philharmonic at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn. The bridge will be lit up with colored lights from 9:00 to 11:00 pm from May 22 through Memorial Day.
Thursday, May 22
Celebration Kick-off: The festivities will begin with a concert featuring the Brooklyn Philharmonic and special guest performances, followed by a Grucci Fireworks extravaganza. I love an extravaganza! A lighting ceremony will illuminate the entire Bridge. Doors open at 6:00 pm; concert starts at 7:45 pm. This event is Free and will take place at Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, enter at Main Street, Brooklyn.
The Telectroscope: A Window Through the World: You can discover the long-forgotten transatlantic tunnel between London and Brooklyn with the Telectroscope. Artist Paul St. George’s public media project is an amazing optical device that allows viewers in Brooklyn to see all the way to London. Trippy! This event is Free through June 15 and takes place on Old Fulton Street at Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn.
Friday, May 23
Brooklyn Bridge Film Series: The City of New York invites you to pack a picnic dinner and enjoy the sunset at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge as DJs spin tunes. After dark, you’ll be entertained by an open-air showing of Walt Disney Pictures’ Enchanted. The music begins at 6pm and the film starts at 8:30pm. This event is free and will take place at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, enter at Main Street in Brooklyn.
Tribeca Cinemas is showing Mo’ Better Blues from Brooklyn’s own Spike Lee, starring Denzel Washington as a Brooklyn-born jazz trumpeter. Be sure to arrive early as seating is limited. Doors open at 6:30pm and the film begins at 7pm. This event is also Free and will take place at 54 Varick Street at Laight Street in Manhattan.
Brooklyn Bridge Information Tents: The American Society of Civil Engineers and the Roebling Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology will offer guided tours of the Bridge through Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm. Tours are Free and will take place at the Brooklyn Bridge by both the Manhattan and Brooklyn-side arches.
Saturday, May 24
Brooklyn Bridge Film Series: You can learn everything you could possibly need to know about the Brooklyn Bridge with this documentary directed by Ken Burns. Arrive early, as seating is limited at this event presented by the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The free film begins at 4:30pm and tickets are available beginning at 1:30pm. This event takes place at 30 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn.
At the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, you can sing along to the musical It Happened in Brooklyn, starring Frank Sinatra as a Brooklynite returning home from the war. The feature will be preceded by two short historic films—Panorama from the Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge (1903) and Manhatta (1921). DJs will begin start tunes at 6:00 pm and the film starts at 8:30pm. This event is free at Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, enter at Main Street in Brooklyn.
Lecture Series: In honor of this event, the Brooklyn Historical Society will host of weekend of free lectures and readings at their headquarters at 128 Pierrepont Street at Clinton Street, Brooklyn, (718) 222-4111. Lectures will begin each hour from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Additional lectures will be held at Surrogates Court at 31 Chambers Street, Room 209 in Manhattan from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Seating is limited at all readings.
Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour: Ron Schweiger, the official historian for Brooklyn, will give a free tour of the Brooklyn Bridge at 11:00 am. Call (718) 802-3846 for more information. The meeting point will be at the Manhattan-side arch of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn Icons Mini-Golf: This free mini-golf course features some of Brooklyn’s most famous sites, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Army Plaza and the Brooklyn Cyclones’ baseball stadium, KeySpan Park. Golf clubs and balls are provided on-site. This event will be held Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. For more information, go to visitbrooklyn.org or call (718) 802-3846. You can find it at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, enter on Main Street in Brooklyn.
Sunday, May 25
Tour de Brooklyn: 2,000 bicyclists will ride all around Brooklyn in this leisurely 18-mile bike tour. You can participate or just cheer from the sidelines. For advance registration, go to tourdebrooklyn.org. This event is also Free.
Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tours: At 11:00 am, Ron Schweiger, the official historian for Brooklyn, will give a free tour of the Brooklyn Bridge. Participants should meet at the Manhattan-side arch of Brooklyn Bridge. At 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, Dave Fieder—aka “Dave the Bridge Man”—will also give tours of the landmark, beginning at the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Call (718) 802-3846 for more information.
Lecture Series: Free lectures will again take place at 128 Pierrepont Street at Clinton Street in Brooklyn each hour from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Additional lectures will be held at Surrogate’s Court at 31 Chambers Street, Room 209 in Manhattan) from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
Dance and Musical Performances: Various dance and music groups will celebrate the spirit of the Brooklyn Bridge with performances from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. For a complete schedule of events, check out visitbrooklyn.org. All performances are free and will take place at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, enter at Main Street in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Bridge was designated by ASCE as a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972. At the time of its completion in 1883, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge and the height of its towers surpassed Manhattan’s tallest office building. The Brooklyn Bridge was the first bridge to use galvanized steel wire in cable construction, which resulted in its unprecedented length. The entire project took over 14 years to complete, as it was constructed mainly by hand, without having the benefity of electricity or power tools.
For more information, visit the official website.