San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is as gorgeous today as she was at the opening.
She’s freshly repainted, repaired, and refreshed, in preparation for the big 75th anniversary festival on Memorial Weekend.
But no one will be allowed to walk across the GG for the event, because crowds were so heavy on the 50th anniversary, they “flattened the bridge deck’s slightly arched shape,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Instead, organizers have planned fireworks, a parade of old cars and people in old-fashioned clothes, as part of a two-day festival May 26 and 27, marking the day the first traffic crossed the bridge on May 28, 1937.
The waterfront party is part of a year-long celebration of San Francisco’s most famous landmark, from art and historic photo exhibits, to music and celebrations in dance.
Photographers never tire of this icon, whether it’s draped in San Francisco’s famous fog, or it’s sparkling in summer sunshine. An estimated 10 million people visit the Golden Gate every year, whether they’re driving, walking, wheeling, cycling over — or traveling under it, by sailboat, ship or kayak.
We’ve walked over it many times, from both the San Francisco and Marin County sides, and it’s always a thrill. The Golden Gate Bridge towers 146 feet above San Francisco Bay, which is equal to a 50-story building.
It’s even more of a thrill to kayak under the Golden Gate, because of the strong currents. Better for many visitors to take a Blue & Gold Fleet cruise — camera lenses stay dry, and you meet people from all over.
We’re keen to try the ultimate Golden Gate Bridge experience — not climbing the struts, as construction workers and painters do, but soaring over it, in a zeppelin. A 246-foot airship (larger than a commercial jet) makes regular trips around the Bay area, with spectacular views of the bridge. Weather permitting, the Oakland-based “Eureka” costs anywhere from $375 to $950, and includes a lovers-only seat for two.
Of course, fog is often an issue, although it’s just a mood-setter for many photographers.
One of the most exciting projects for the 75th anniversary is the “sunset sundial” tracking of the sun at the bridge, showing how much the manmade structure is an integral part of the natural environment.
Walk the bridge once, see leopard sharks, seals, fish and pelicans below, and you’ll be convinced of that.
At 75 years, it’s a great reminder that this “International Orange” landmark is more than just a bridge for busy traffic.