Annual Wooden Bridge Festival set for Saturday

The Island Community Development Association’s annual Wooden Bridge Festival returns to the city Saturday.

“We’re getting ready for it, we’re looking forward to it,” Association President Bobby Johnson said.

The day will include food, arts and craft vendors, barrel rides and inflatables for children, antique tractors on display and a cruise-in. Admission is free, and parking will be available at the Methodist and Baptist churches and the old Southern States building.

Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with opening ceremonies, featuring a presentation of the flags by the McLean County High School ROTC. Jane Crumbaker will sing the national anthem.

Johnson said they’ll award their “Citizen of the Year” at that time, too.

Daylong music starts about 10:30 a.m. The festival runs from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

“We’re expecting to have a good festival,” Johnson said. The money it makes goes “right back in our community.” The group spends money on the park and helps different organizations, he said.

The cruise-in runs from 10 a.m until 3 p.m. Johnson said he’s anticipating a big crowd for the car show and is expecting 125 to 150 classic cars to be in Island on Saturday.

Entry to the cruise-in is also free, and free T-shirts and dash plaques will be available for the first 100 cars.

According to Johnson, the group has been hosting the Wooden Bridge Festival since 1993, several years before the community’s historic railroad bridge was replaced.

When the state decided to replace the structure in the early 1990s, people in the community came together and asked the state if they could have the local landmark.

The wooden railroad bridge was built in 1872 and was “kind of a landmark,” Johnson said, which was the reason many people wanted to keep it.

The now-disbanded Island Heritage Council spearheaded fundraising efforts to purchase property and rebuild the bridge there.

Johnson said the Wooden Bridge Festival is “more or less a homecoming for a lot of people. For other people, it’s a place to come and fellowship and visit with your neighbors and enjoy a day of music and food and have a good time together.”

Booth rentals are still available. Food booths are $ 25, and arts and crafts booths are $ 15. Contact Nancy Johnson at 270-499-3264 for more information.

Island in on U.S. 431 in Mclean County.

For more information about the event, contact Bobby Johnson at 270-499-2431.

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