Five days to celebrate the Brooklyn Bridge on its 125th anniversary

The Brooklyn Paper
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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced plans for a five-day celebration in honor of the 125th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The celebration, May 22-26, will feature an array of fun and family-friendly cultural events in Brooklyn and Manhattan, commemorating the historic structure and highlighting the cultural diversity of the boroughs it unites.

The Brooklyn Bridge 125th Birthday Celebration will feature a special Bridge lighting, concerts, a film series, lectures, children’s readings, dance performances and a bike tour, as well as several other weekend events.

In the spirit of “The People’s Day” celebration held on the occasion of the bridge’s opening in 1883, this fest will kick off with a public birthday party May 22 at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn, featuring live music by the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

The evening will feature a Grucci Fireworks presentation and an unprecedented light installation featuring a colorful array spanning the length of the Brooklyn Bridge, illuminating the New York City skyline each evening from 9-11 p.m. from May 22 through Memorial Day.

A weekend of cultural programs in honor of the Brooklyn Bridge 125th Birthday Celebration continues with a Brooklyn Bridge Film Series, a bicycle Tour de Brooklyn, enlightening lectures, guided tours and more. Some of the featured events include:

· The Brooklyn Bridge Film Series: The series will take place at several venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan and will kick off at 6 p.m., May 23 at the Empire- Fulton Ferry State Park with Enchanted and It Happened in Brooklyn, with the support of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Both feature films will be preceded by Panorama from the Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhatta, two historical shorts with live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton.

Across the bridge on Friday night at 7 p.m., Tribeca Cinemas will feature Mo’ Better Blues while the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) will host a viewing of the 1980 Ken Burns’ documentary Brooklyn Bridge, May 24 at 4:30 p.m.

· Lectures and Readings: The Brooklyn Historical Society and Manhattan’s Surrogate’s Court will host a series of lectures and children’s readings throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday starting at 1 p.m. Sponsored by several New York City cultural institutions, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Brooklyn Book Festival, the Roebling Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archaeology (RCSIA), and the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, the lectures will explore the history of the Brooklyn Bridge and the genius behind its design.

· New Pedestrian Entrance: To prepare for its birthday bash, the Brooklyn pedestrian entrance will get a makeover from the Dumbo Business Improvement District, including newly designed signage and energy efficient lighting.

· Telectroscope Connection: The Telectroscope will be on the Fulton Ferry Pier allowing people in London — 3,500 miles away — to help fête the bridge, thanks to Tiscali UK and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

· Tours: Volunteers with The American Society of Civil Engineers and RCSIA will provide information about the Bridge. They will be located on the Bridge from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Several guided tours will also be given.

· Bike “Tour de Brooklyn”: The morning of May 25, the Tour de Brooklyn bike ride, will lead hundreds of bicyclists around several of Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhoods.

· Various Special Events: Dozens of participating cultural institutions and attractions throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan will also offer special rates, programs, and packages to commemorate this milestone anniversary.

Major sponsors of the Brooklyn Bridge 125th Birthday Celebration include General Contractors Association of New York, Inc., National Grid, Forest City Ratner, Target, as well as Empire Blue Cross, Verizon, Astoria Bank, Citi, Warner Bros. and Sovereign Bank.

For more, visit or call 311.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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