This weekend, as we mentioned in Friday’s Voice, Dallas will celebrate the opening of the new Calatrava bridge spanning the mighty Trinity River.
Among the groups that will perform, according to Randall White, president of the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce and chair of the West Dallas group Bridge-o-Rama, is the Texas Flaggers, who will perform on Saturday afternoon. The Flaggers are a gay group. Look for them on the West Dallas side of the bridge.
The flaggers will perform as part of a Texas Flaggers weekend that includes a meet-and-greet at Club One on Friday at 7 p.m., and a tie-dye open studio and flagging class on Sunday.
White’s partner, Jeff Herrington, who is doing publicity for Bridge-o-Rama, said a free concert will take place Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. He said the World Music Stage will be set up about a half block from the bridge along Singleton Boulevard.
One feature of the celebration is the Parade of Giants — 15 giant, hand-carried puppets representing individuals from West Dallas’ past that are being created by community groups in partnership with artists from La Reunion, Texas. Among the figures portrayed will be Bonnie and Clyde, Victor Considerant, Mattie Nash, Fr. Sebastian Valles and Judge Barefoot Sanders. One of those puppets was to be created by an LGBT rights groups based in San Diego called Empowering Spirits Foundation, but that partnership fell through. An Oak Cliff group has stepped in to create a puppet instead.
Herrington said this is the only time people will be allowed on the bridge as pedestrians. For safety, the number of people allowed on the bridge at any one time will be limited to 6,800. He pointed out that railings are designed for vehicle traffic and are lower than if designed for pedestrian traffic.
Although Herrington said he couldn’t speak for the city’s reasons for limiting the number of pedestrians on the bridge at any one time, we’re assuming it would be bad publicity for the city and the bridge if it got too crowded and people fell off.