CROCKETT, Calif. — About 1,500 local residents kicked off a low-budgeted but spirited 60th-birthday celebration for the Carquinez Bridge--lighting it with flashlights because they were unable to get electricity for the bash.
"We were turned down by a major Bay Area utility to light the bridge," said party chairman and hardware store owner Gene Pedrotti.
EverReady donated more than 500 flashlights for the inaugural event Thursday night. The rest of the celebrants brought their own.
The three-day fete comes just before the big May 24 party for the Golden Gate Bridge. The Carquinez Bridge, in the shadow of the huge California and Hawaiian Sugar Co., links Crockett with Vallejo.
A morning bridge walk and all-day celebration is set for Sunday.
The May 21, 1927, opening of the Carquinez Bridge will always be a memorable day in history, but unfortunately not because of the bridge. It was the day Charles Lindberg and the Spirit of St. Louis completed the first trans-Atlantic flight and landed in Paris.
According to some old-timers who attended the 1927 bridge opening, the news of Lindberg's success put a damper on the celebration as residents dashed home to listen to reports of Lindberg's flight on the radio.