Lake Pleasant to celebrate local resilience at Bridge of Names Bash

  • The Bridge of Names in Lake Pleasant. The local landmark had 34 feet of its 220-foot span destroyed by fallen trees during an October 2020 storm. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • The Bridge of Names in Lake Pleasant. The local landmark had 34 feet of its 220-foot span destroyed by fallen trees during an October 2020 storm. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • The Bridge of Names in Lake Pleasant dates back to the 1970s and features pickets with the engraved names of residents who have helped construct and maintain it. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • The Rutter’s Park playground in Lake Pleasant will host a Bridge of Names Bash on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer
Published: 9/14/2021 5:31:36 PM

LAKE PLEASANT — In celebration of the recently reconstructed Bridge of Names, residents will congregate at Rutter’s Park for a free afternoon of music, refreshments and merriment on Saturday.

The event, called the Bridge of Names Bash, will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. The occasion celebrates the reopening of the bridge after it was ravaged by a storm on Oct. 7, 2020. The locally cherished landmark dates back to the 1970s and features pickets with the engraved names of residents who have helped construct and maintain it.

Now, with the structure finally looking pristine, Matt Atwood, president of the Lake Pleasant Village Association that owns and manages the bridge, said the bash will be a fitting representation of the togetherness that has kept the bridge intact for decades.

“We want to celebrate the community,” Atwood said. “This project has been an amazing learning experience about how people come together and make things happen.”

He added that the community did a great job of not only raising money for repairs, but networking to find people and resources to assist in the reconstruction process. Because locals catalyzed everything, though, Atwood said residents deserve the highest praise.

“There are people in the village who know resources across the town and county,” Atwood explained. “We were reaching people internationally who supported us, but I don’t want to put emphasis on international help. It was really the local people.”

The Bridge of Names Bash looks to carry forward this theme of uplifting locals with what it brings to Rutter’s Park on Saturday. For instance, the disc jockey attending the celebration is the nephew of a Lake Pleasant resident, Atwood said. Additionally, the assortment of refreshments available will include apples from Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield.

Lastly, a raffle will feature prizes such as gift certificates and various wares from local businesses. A sheet of 25 tickets will be $5 and proceeds will benefit the Lake Pleasant Village Association’s bridge maintenance expenses.

Atwood said that people should come to the event not only to have a good time, but “to celebrate the generosity and resilience of a small community.” He made it clear that the structure being celebrated deserves as much.

“We’re already the smallest Montague village, so this really helps us feel like a connected community,” Atwood said. “It’s really a historical structure that we value as a piece of history and for its aesthetic value.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.




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