Local icon turns 75


SOPHIA REDFERN | The Broadview

Madison Riehle

SOPHIA REDFERN | The Broadview
SOPHIA REDFERN | The Broadview

When the Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937, locals walked across the span, celebrating the first non-ferry connection between San Francisco and Marin counties. Fifty years later, over 750,000 celebrants surged onto the bridge, causing the crowd to gridlock. This weekend’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge will skip the walk, but will incorporate music, dancing, food and exhibits along the waterfront.

“We plan to have tens of thousands of people at the celebration because the bridge is very popular all around the United States,” David Shaw, Director of Communications for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy said. “We expect many people from San Francisco and out of state we have had a lot of publicity advertising the event.”

Tents will be set up along the waterfront to display the history of and future plans for the Golden Gate Bridge and surrounding area. Historic cars and motorcycles from 1937 to present will create a motor-vehicle timeline along Crissy Field, according to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Thirty-eight different bands and DJs are scheduled to play music on four different stages and dancers will perform their contemporary pieces celebrating oral histories, poetry, memories and stories about the bridge. The celebration concludes with fireworks highlighting the bridge at 9:30.

Unlike previous celebrations, there are no plans to stop traffic for a pedestrian bridge walk due to a ban from the Office of Homeland Security, according to Shaw.

“We wanted everyone to have a good time on Sunday, and the bridge walk would not be possible for everyone to participate in,” Shaw said.

Some native San Franciscans are hoping to a 100th celebration walk, though.

“When I was five my dad made a deal with me,” admissions director Caitlin Kavanagh said. “He said he would push me in my stroller if I would pushed him a wheelchair across the bridge for the 100th anniversary.”

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