By Tim O’Meilia
Whaddaya do when the danged guvmint closes the bridge to the beach for 19 months and promises to build a nice, new, tall shiny replacement?
Why, ya throw a party of course.
The East Ocean Avenue bridge in Lantana officially closed to automobile traffic sometime after midnight March 19.
But the town of Lantana closed it a day early — March 18 — and threw a Demolition Day party at Bicentennial Park on the west bank of the Intracoastal Waterway.
The highlight of the day was the 2 p.m. parade of The Last _____ Over the Bridge. People signed up with their fantasies about being the last whatever to cross the span: the last Cub Scout troop, the last unicycle, the last man carrying his wife, maybe even the last hearse over the bridge.
Emcee Greg Rice offered his unique commentary of the Last Parade.
Town Manager Mike Bornstein said, “We just wanted to remind people that our downtown will still be open for business after the bridge closes.”
Partying began at noon with music by the Mighty Quinn band and food provided by the town’s best restaurants. Kids took their first and last hayride across the bridge, entered a chalk art contest and played on the tire swing in the park.
Free parking was available at Kmart Plaza at Dixie Highway and Hypoluxo Road with an old-fashioned trolley shuttling revelers to the park and back. The shuttle began at 11:30 a.m. The fun lasted until 5 p.m.