Communities along the lower St. Croix River are working together to celebrate the planned opening of Stillwater’s historic Lift Bridge to pedestrian traffic next spring. Plans for this September were pushed back due to delays in renovations.
Work on the Lift Bridge is expected to be completed after Thanksgiving this year. Workers were forced to halt the project and remove all equipment from the bridge this spring due to concerns about flooding.
A weekend full of events — including an attempt at a world record — was in the works. No changes to the plans have yet been announced yet due to the rescheduling. Stillwater City Councilmember Mike Pohlena, who is serving as the event committee chair, provided updates on efforts to the city council in May.
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He said Chambers of Commerce from Stillwater, Hudson, St. Joseph’s Township, Somerset, and New Richmond are all involved, along with the St. Croix River Association and bike organizations.
“The big thing is trying to set a world record for number of people holding hands along the whole Loop Trail,” Pohlena told the city council.
Plans are still preliminary, but are expected to include a community dinner spanning the length of the Lift Bridge. In a twist, the meal will be served by elected officials from both sides of the St. Croix. The dinner will be followed by a street dance.
Saturday will include a pancake breakfast, possibly a kid’s parade across the bridge, and an attempt to set a new world record for the longest chain of people holding hands. “Hands Across the Croix” will need more than 6,000 participants to hold hands along the entire new five-mile Loop Trail for bicyclists and walkers, which crosses both the Lift Bridge and the new bridge.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.