CROWN POINT — The Champlain Bridge opening celebration is on schedule to take place May 19 and 20.
The event will include an “Old Time Hometown Grand Parade” set to begin in Chimney Point, Vt. and travel across the new bridge to the Crown Point Historic Site, as well as many other events and attractions throughout the celebration.
New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) spokeswoman Carol Breen said recent rumors that suggested the bridge might not be shut down by the DOT to allow the parade are unfounded.
“The group is in the process of completing necessary permits for the parade,” Breen said. “But we expect we should be able to approve the closing of the bridge for the parade.”
The Lake Champlain Celebration Committee is applying for a closure period of about two hours. During that time the committee must construct a plan to ensure emergency personnel have access to the bridge and an emergency procedure in place for parade participants.
An organizer and Fundraising Coordinator for the celebration, Karen Hennessy, said the committee is composing an emergency procedure to ensure the safety of everyone at the event.
“Incorporating an emergency course of action is a major part of our planning,” Hennessy said. “We will make sure if emergency vehicles need to get over the bridge there will be a way.”
The two-day celebration will include events held on both the New York and Vermont side of the bridge to encourage people to visit the historical sites and events both sides have to offer visitors.
Visitors can walk across the bridge to get to all the attractions or Essex County Transportation will provide a bus that can take visitors to events, Hennessy said.
The committee is planning the event to be comparable to the first Champlain bridge opening in 1929.