Celebrators passed over the bridge with their beautiful puppets. Photo by Katrina Margolis.
By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter
The night of December 16, big flakes began to fall from the sky, covering the ground in a fresh blanket of snow, the first real snow of the season. However, to think that this would dampen the spirits of those celebrating the opening of the Elliot Street Bridge is to be incredibly foolish. At 11 a.m., with large, wet flakes sticking to hair, gloves, and jackets alike, a smiling crowd stood on the balloon-decorated bridge to watch their very own parade cheer and scream their way across the newly opened road.
Across the bridge road, an old-fashioned fire truck, hand-made puppets (much like those found in the Boston New Year’s Eve parade), as well as a truck carrying a band outfitted with guitars, drums, and vocals. After crossing the bridge and gathering in a nearby parking lot, Newton’s Mayor said, “Looking at these puppets, it’s like being in the cantina from Star Wars, but even more spectacular!” Both sides of the bridge gave thanks for everyone involved, and for the bridge opening on time. “Thank you for the Needham-Newton residents who had to circle around this bridge for 6 months and who can finally cross it. Thank you, finally of course to the businesses around the bridge for your understanding the patience,” a Needham selectman said.
Throughout the event, Echo Bridge was mentioned a number of times, even being called “a symbol of the unity between these two communities.” Volunteers handed out flyers and asked celebrators to donate towards new handrails for the bridge, which it has needed for years. It will be the next major project. “I’ve got some stuff here, so sign up so we can have another parade - in the summer sometime - and to fix those railings!”