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Ribbon Cutting Event to Open Three Restored Covered Bridges in Washington County, New York

CAMBRIDGE, NY - The Covered Bridges Advisory Committee of Washington County, New York, will host a ribbon cutting event on August 4, 2007 to re-open three covered bridges, built in the 19th century, and recently restored: Buskirk's Bridge, Eagleville Bridge and Rexleigh Bridge. The events begin at 10:00 am at Buskirk's Bridge, move to the Eagleville Bridge at noon and then to the Rexleigh Bridge at 1:30 pm. All participants of the Covered Bridge Tour will be welcomed at the Historic Salem Courthouse at 2:00 pm for an afternoon celebration. State-level and local dignitaries will be on hand to celebrate the reopening of these historic bridges.

Invited guests include US Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer of New York and Jim Jeffords of Vermont; US Congresswomen Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; New York State Senators Joe Bruno and Betty Little; and New York State Assemblyman Roy McDonald. Local guests include the town supervisors of Cambridge, Hoosick, Jackson and Salem, and representatives of the Preservation League of New York, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and local volunteer fire departments.

Acknowledgments will be offered at each bridge. In addition a group of Irish step-dancers will dance "The Bridge of Athlone" to live music. Following the ribbon cutting, a procession of ox-and horse-drawn vehicles and antique cars will cross each bridge. Participants will proceed to each bridge on roads that were in use at the time the bridges were built, winding their way through the hills and valleys of southern Washington County. The tour will make its way through the hamlet of Shushan, where the Shushan Covered Bridge will be open to the public.

At 2:00 pm, all are welcomed at a celebration at the Historic Salem Courthouse, just a few miles from the Rexleigh Covered Bridge. The Courthouse, built in 1869, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the most important historic public buildings in the region. Designed by noted Troy architect Marcus F. Cummings, the Old Courthouse contains one of the best preserved late-nineteenth century courtrooms in the entire state. The entire complex includes the adjacent jail, a rare, intact facility from 1906, the jailor's house, and several bams.

The celebration includes refreshments, door prizes, covered bridge artists, period music, and an opportunity to purchase a souvenir booklet as well as Eric Sloane's book "American Barns and Covered Bridges." At each bridge, volunteer docents will distribute a free brochure with a ticket. Visitors who get their tickets stamped at all three bridges will be eligible for door prizes at the Courthouse. A commemorative T-shirt will be available for sale throughout the tour.

The day concludes with a chamber music concert by Music from Salem at historic Hubbard Hall, an opera house built in 1878. The program will highlight composers of the period during which the bridges were built, including Samuel Barber's "Dover Beach" (string quartet and voice); and the songs of Steven Foster. The music of John Adams will also be featured with "Shaker Loops," one ofthe best minimal pieces about the ecstatic "shaking" of the Shakers (for string septet).

For more information about the ribbon cutting events and the celebration, call Jackie Keren at 518-854-9120 or email ikeren@att.net. Information will also be posted at the website for the Towns & Villages of the Battenkill Valley at http://www.visitbattenkillvalley.com/

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted May 25, 2007