Island to host 26th annual Wooden Bridge Festival

The Island Community Development Association will host the 26th annual Island Wooden Bridge Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 14 at the Island Wooden Bridge Park, off of South First Street and Kirtley Avenue.

Island's wooden bridge was originally built in 1872 and located off of West Main and First streets over the railroad, according to Bobby Johnson, the president of the Island Community Development Association. The bridge was disassembled in 1985 due to the increasing difficulty in maintaining it, he said.

The association raised money through community donations and fundraisers in addition to grant money to reassemble the bridge and build a park around it in 1993, which marks that first bridge festival, Johnson said.

The development association meets once a month year-round to plan projects that help the community, such as repaving streets and upkeeping parks, according to Johnson.

“We just help whoever needs help in our community...that’s all we work for is community,” he said.

The Island Wooden Bridge Festival is the association’s biggest annual fundraiser, Johnson said. It will help fund other community projects, such as the association’s effort to build handicap-accessible walkways in the park.

The festival will begin at 10 a.m. with the ROTC presenting the flag, followed by the National Anthem. Festivities will include a silent auction from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., all day live music and family-friendly entertainment, and arts and crafts booths in addition to food and refreshments.

The antique tractor display and cruise-in will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with trophies going to cruise-in participants for best car and truck, people’s choice and mayor’s choice.

“People in the community, they look forward to coming...it’s something they can get out and visit with their neighbors and enjoy a good day of music and fellowship,” Johnson said.

Parking for the festival is located at the Methodist and Baptist churches with a trolley to transport patrons to the park. The ROTC will also man roadblocks at South First Street, West Main Street and Kirtley Avenue.

cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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