Please wear your formal attire to the bridge walk.

You can't imagine the revelry yesterday! The word-of-mouth invitation said "Formal attire for the bridge walk".

Do people in other states walk across bridges on Labor Day?  Or is this just a Michigan thing to do?

This year is the 53rd annual walk across the Mackinac Bridge.  It’s a big thing around here.  People travel from all over Michigan (the Upper AND Lower Peninsulas…as well as out-of-staters) to hike, walk or run across the five-mile span of the Mackinac Bridge which separates our beloved peninsulas.

Other towns have joined in the bridge fun, as well.  Up the road in Houghton there is a five-mile walk which crosses the Portage Lift Bridge.  Everyone is getting into this bridge-walking tradition!

Jimmy leads the way...the crowd prepares to Walk the Bridge.

Even our little township.  Meet the people from Arvon Township.  Yep, that’s us.  We have our own little bridge walk.  This is the 15th annual year of walking across the tiniest bridge you could imagine–well, maybe not tiny, but quite small) at Witz Marina out in Skanee. 

Because it was the 15th annual celebration, some of the organizers decided that this year should have a theme.  Guess what it was?  Dress in your formal attire and prepare to walk across the bridge.  Anyone have an old prom dress? An old wedding gown?  The guys were advised to wear t-shirts and ties, but one dapper fellow arrived in a tuxedo. 

These folks know how to have fun!

What a crew!

We’ve been to the Skanee bridge walk in recent years, mostly because Barry covers it for the newspaper.  I joined him yesterday as he photographed the participants.  We had another party at 3 p.m. so couldn’t stay for the fabulous tables of potluck food. 

You’ve never seen people having so much fun!  Almost made me wish I had come in a prom dress.  (Although, there’s nothing like THAT in this house.  Not even sure where my wedding gown might be…probably at my parent’s house in Yale…but can be darn sure I would split seams trying to put that on!)

Champagne for the bridge walkers

Just wanted to share this blog with you before the blog about our party.  It’s one of those mornings where you stare bleary-eyed at 134 photographs and wonder how and why you took so many pictures.  I’ll show you our bridge walk, too.  Four of us hiked for a couple of miles and peered over an old railroad bridge and admired the river.

I’m sure that all of you will be organizing your own bridge walks next Labor Day. Or come here to Michigan and join the fun & festivities!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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16 Responses to Please wear your formal attire to the bridge walk.

  1. Reggie says:

    Are you serious?! A whole town(ship) getting together on one day to cross a bridge in formal attire?! How hysterical and amazing and wonderful and exhilarating – I so wish I’d been there! You have SUCH an interesting life, Kathy!

    • Cindy Lou says:

      I’ve never been to the one @ Witz’s though it looks like such fun! I love when folks can revel in the simplest joys, hey? Love the picture of the champagne in sunlight – should I be saying that?!?!? 🙂

  2. Dawn says:

    That’s hysterical! I love what people do with bridges. The Sydney Harbor Bridge was closed one day recently (only for Sydneysiders!) and covered in grass, live stock brought in and people picnicked on the bridge. 🙂

  3. Susan D. says:

    Priceless. Americana at its finest. Events such as bridge crossings in formal attire are what make this country great, in my opinion. We can be at odds politically, spiritually, ad infinitum, but put together a town event such as this, and everyone turns up to participate as “one.” Love, LOVE it!

  4. Jeannie says:

    What fun! I love communities like yours… 🙂

  5. Carol says:

    How fun! We have some not-very-big bridges, but nothing like the bridge walk. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Karma says:

    This must be a Michigan thing! I’ve never heard of such a tradition, although I wouldn’t opposed to giving it a try someday!

  7. I have never in all my born days heard of a bridge walk. Well I’ll be darned! How cool is that?!

  8. Looks like a marvelous time. On Mayne Island we have a May Day celebrations that seem to inspire the same kind of dress – but with more flowering headdresses.

  9. Elisa's Spot says:

    I WANTED TO SEE YOU IN FORMAL/FUN ATTIRE!!!! (sighs to self…she did invite you ya goober)

  10. Kathy says:

    Hello, friends! I am glad to be able to share the Skanee “formal” bridge walk with you this year. It sure is fun when communities bond together to do things like this. So glad you all enjoyed…whether you were in your formal attire or not!

  11. Robin says:

    How fun! We don’t have anything like that here in northeastern Ohio (that I know of). There is a Bridge Day in West Virginia where they close off the New River bridge so folks can walk across it, party on it, etc., and we have done that in the past.

  12. Cindy Lou says:

    Dawn – Picnicing on the Sydney Bridge? Wow!

    Susan D. – Once again, sweetie, you’ve nailed it on the head! How’d you get so wise?

    Kathy didn’t tell you how long this bridge walk is, did she? And it doesn’t really show in her sunshiny photos, but this bridge is at most 30 yards long! I know I wouldn’t be able to walk much further than that in formal wear 🙂

  13. Kathy says:

    Robin, the bridge walk in West Virginia sounds similar to some of the shennanigans around here. Cindy, thanks for supplying the length of the bridge. I couldn’t figure out such complicated things as yardage. “Tiny” was the best I could do! (But, you know, Cindy Lou, I could almost see you doing something wild like getting dressed in a formal. Although jeans seems more your style.)

  14. pearlz says:

    What an amazing little event. IT must be so much fun to dress up and walk the bridge like that. That glass picture is so sparkly (:

    • Kathy says:

      June, it was a fun event. I elbowed my way (politely, of course) up to the champagne table to try to get a picture of the sun reflecting on the glasses. It kind of worked, didn’t it?

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