The South Park community will gather to celebrate their strength as a growing neighborhood and mourn the closure of the bridge that served as it’s lifeline for nearly 80 years
The community has organized a celebratory wake on Wednesday, June 30th from 6-10pm to mark the closing of the South Park Bridge, the main thoroughfare over the Duwamish River into the South Park neighborhood. After losing both city and county grant monies to other projects in Seattle, the severely deteriorated South Park Bridge was determined unsafe for the 20,000 vehicles that cross it daily.
The wake will not only serve as a celebration and gathering place for the neighborhood: South Park residents, including business owners, artists and musicians are stepping up to showcase the community’s diversity. The Duwamish Tribal drummers will cross the bridge in the minutes before it closes at 7pm. Muralists from South Park Arts will be painting the bridge, “transforming the structure from defunct infrastructure into artistic force.” (South Park Arts website, www.southparkarts.org) Bagpipers will play during the final raising of the leaves, followed by music from a New Orleans Funeral Band, a Latino Roots/Folk band, and a Blues Band. South Park restaurants, like the popular Muy Macho, will be offering food specials, and local organizations will be tabling to showcase the variety of activities and services in the neighborhood.
The South Park neighborhood is one of the most diverse in Seattle, and has undergone a renaissance in recent years, largely due to the addition of a library, community center, resource center, increased community involvement and a growing business district. Recent announcements from the County and the City indicate that monies ($31 million and 20 million, respectively) are being set aside for a replacement. The total cost estimates for the project are $130 million.
Here’s a schedule of the evening’s events:
Duwamish Tribal Drums will cross the bridge @ 6:30 -6:45 (Proceeded or followed by residents and friends of the bridge)
Moment of silence 6:59-7:00 The raising of the glass (farewell, friend, farewell) – Tears begin
Bag-Pipers pipe for the final raising of the leaves @ 7:00 -7:20
New Orleans Funeral Band (Pony Boy Antiphonal Street Band) Performs @ 7:30 – 8:00
Latino Roots/folk band (Trio Lucero del Norte) plays @ 8:00 – 8:30
Baby Gramps Blues plays @ 9:00 – 9:30
ECOSS is helping organize the wake and needs volunteers! Please email Elise@ecoss.org if you would like to help.