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Members of the crowd attending Friday morning's Highway 53 bridge dedication are dwarfed by the massive structure.

VIRGINIA — Looking for a day of family fun and community togetherness? Come to Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 14 for the 2019 Bridge Daze celebration.

This is a day long event hosted by The Lyric Center for the Arts and ReVive Virginia and is “the regional celebration honoring the determination and resilience of the Iron Range people as symbolized by the Highway 53 Bridge itself,” states the press release.

“The Volkswalk is based on the european tradition of having the community come together and take a walk around an area with neighbors, family and friends,” said Mary McReynolds the executive director of the Lyric Center for the Arts as she took a break Tuesday from preparing for the event.

This is the sixth annual Volkswalk. It is a fundraiser and is put on by the Lyric Center for the Arts with the Virginia Historical Society.

McReynolds was in the midst of finalizing the map for Saturday’s event. The Volkswalk is a self-directed walk utilizing the map with a description for each location.

“We picked out spots around town with history,” McReynolds explained. “We’ll point out interesting facts and places around Virginia.”

One stop will be the Virginia Area Historical Museum where a local historian will be on hand to answer any questions and provide extra information for those on the Volkswalk.

“In an age where we are all dependent on cars, not many people see details around town,” said McReynolds explaining one of the pleasures of the Volkswalk. “Come take a walk and see some interesting things that you may have overlooked.”

The Volkswalk will begin at the Lyric Center for the Arts, 510 Chestnut Street, where participants will register.

There will be a free-will donation for participation. Each Volkswalker will receive a souvenir “Fandana”, drink chip for a craft beer at the 218 Taphouse, a map for the walk as well as a copy of the “Public Art Discovery Map.”

The “Public Art Discovery Map” is free and available year-round at the Lyric Center for the Arts. It is a map that opens up to a map of art throughout the city. Each piece’s entry includes its name, artist, location, who commissioned the work and a description. Some works include “Shoulder to Shoulder Even the Fallen Stand Tall,” the veteran sculpture, the “Bess Metsa Mosaic Rose” and the “Ojibwe Mural.”

The “Public Art Discovery Map” is a project of the Lyric Center for the Arts and sponsored in part by the Iron Range Tourism Bureau.

Bridge Daze

“Bridge Daze is a community cooperative event that started with the tourism bureau and the City of Virginia celebrating the Hwy 53 bridge’s opening,” said McReynolds. “It has grown into a day where area organizations come together and collaborate on a community event.”

This is the third annual Bridge Daze celebration.

“We hope to continue this as a day for lots of organizations to come together and put on an event and celebrate downtown,” said McReynolds. “We encourage all of the Quad Cities to participate in the future!”

The 218 Taphouse will be open and serving craft beers throughout the day.

They will be hosting a street show with live music from 3:30-7:30 p.m. The show will feature Brianne Marie and the Front Porch Singers and Jacob Mahon and The Salty Dogs.

The Mesabi Outdoor Adventures club will have an evening biking trip under the Harvest Moon.

“This is the first year we have been involved but we are hoping to make in an annual installment on our calendar,” said Bret Alexander, a spokesman of the group, over Facebook. “We are looking forward to meeting new riders and combing a ride with other events to create a more fun and dynamic experience.”

At 7 p.m., bikers will depart from the 218 Taphouse and bike down the Mesabi Trail to Gilbert and back.

“Those who attend the ride will receive a headlamp and a beer token for the 218, however supplies are limited and it's first come first serve,” he said cautioning those interested to get there early.

“We are excited to see the downtown filled with people getting together to have some fun as a community, enjoy art, music and the history of our area,” said McReynolds encouraging people from across the region to enjoy Saturday afternoon and evening in downtown Virginia.

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