London Bridge Days

London Bridge Days

Last week in October
Given its location, this is one of the stranger and more unexpected festivals in all of the United States. Held in Lake Havasu City in the Arizona desert, the festival is a week-long celebration of all things English and of the London Bridge that spans a channel of the Colorado River. This London Bridge was built in 1831 to span the River Thames in London, England. Opening festivities at the time included a banquet held on the bridge and a balloon ascending from it. Like its predecessor mentioned in the nursery rhyme, which was completed in 1209, this bridge was falling down until Robert P. McCulloch, Sr., of the McCulloch Oil Corp., bought 10,000 tons of the granite facing blocks, transported them from foggy Londontown to sunny Arizona, rebuilt the bridge stone by stone, and dedicated it on Oct. 10, 1971. The Bridge Days are a commemoration of that re-opening.
A replica of an English village next to the bridge is the center of festival activities. There are English costume contests, a parade, a ball, musical entertainment, arts and crafts exhibits, a "quit-rent" ceremony ( see Payment of Quit Rent), and a Renaissance Festival. Lake Havasu City is a planned community and resort on the banks of Lake Havasu, which is fed by the Colorado River and impounded by the Parker Dam.
CONTACTS:
Lake Havasu Tourism Bureau
314 London Bridge Rd.
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
928-453-3444; fax: 928-453-3344
www.golakehavasu.com
SOURCES:
GdUSFest-1985, p. 11
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