The Roebling Bridge: Festival celebrates 150th anniversary

Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., East Third Street and Court Avenue, Covington

When it was completed in 1867, it was the longest bridge in the world. It is now a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Landmark and was the forerunner of the famed Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

It’s the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, the iconic span connecting Ohio and Kentucky. And it’s time to celebrate the bridge’s 150th anniversary,

RoeblingFest, community-oriented and historically focused, will highlight the bridge, which opened to the public Jan. 1,1867. The celebration will overlap in the morning with the Covington Farmer’s Market and in the evening with the Summer Concert Series.

Kriss Roebling, a great-great-great-great-grandson of the bridge’s designer, will be a guest at the celebration.

Among the day’s activities:
Tours of the bridge, statues along the riverwalk and the Covington floodwall, as well as alking tours of the Licking Riverside Historic District.

Electronic large-screen presentations, slide shows of historic photos and winners of the Roebling Suspension Bridge Photo Contest, and a Lego replica of the South Pier.

Performances including the Forget-Me-Not Dancers and appearances by Abe Lincoln and John Roebling.

Roebling Bridge items and photographs will be sold and also part of a silent auction. Auction items will include a “Trip to the Top” of the Roebling Bridge.

All activities, tours, exhibits and presentations will be free.

RoeblingFest is organized by the Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge Committee. The presenting sponsor is Cincinnati Bell.


Something to talk about

Throughout the day, presentations will take place in the Ascent’s second-floor meeting room.

The schedule:

11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Discussion Rob Hans and Ralph Wolff, both retired Kentucky Transportation Cabinet civil engineers and members of the Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge Committee, will answer questions about the bridge and its history

1 p.m., “John A. Roebling and His Suspension Bridge on the Ohio River, A Reader’s Guide” – The presenter, Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, serves as historian for the bridge committee and has written numerous books.

3 p.m., “The Life of Roebling” – Kriss Roebling, a descendant of John Roebling, will speak.

4 p.m. “Tying It All Together: Roebling’s Bridge and its Connection to Cincinnati’s Transportation Network” – Dr. Paul Tenkotte, history professor and director of the Local History Center at Northern Kentucky University, will speak. He has written and edited many books and articles about Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

Leave a Reply