Now that the Kansas River bridge at Lecompton has reopened, residents there and in neighboring Perry are ready for a party.
Food, beverages, music, a home run derby, children's games and other activities will highlight that celebration Friday night at the Lecompton ballpark near the Territorial Capitol.
"It's been a big relief. Everybody's mood is a little brighter," Lecompton resident Brenda Hastert said about the completion of the bridge work.
The bridge, which links Perry and Lecompton, was closed in March for reconstruction of its deck. It reopened on schedule last Friday.
But the bridge will be closed again for a few minutes at 6:30 p.m. Friday. That's when residents will meet on the bridge to watch a ribbon-cutting ceremony to start the celebration. Perry Mayor Mike Lang and Lecompton Mayor Roy Paslay will be invited to be the main participants, Hastert said. A Perry-Lecompton High School student will play the "Star Spangled Banner" on a saxophone.
"It's going to be a real quick ceremony," Hastert said. "We'll cut the ribbon and then all go to the Lecompton ballpark."
The celebration was planned by members of the high school junior class. Area businesses are contributing food and other items that will be available for free-will donations. Proceeds from the event will go to the high school 2008 prom fund.
"The kids pretty much did all the planning and we adults just kind of guided them," Hastert said.
A T-shirt that will be available displays the words "Bridgefest '07" on the front and "Kaw River Swim Team" on the back.