Connecting Communities Lantern Festival
The Cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento are hosting a lantern festival on Saturday, March 23, 2019 from 7 to 9 p.m. as part of the I Street Deck Conversion Feasibility Study. Community members are invited to learn about bicycle and pedestrian plans and provide their input on the future amenities, ramps, and river plaza on the existing I Street Bridge’s upper-deck.
“This is a once every 100 years opportunity for the two cities to design and construct a new river crossing,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “We look forward to hearing new ideas focused on the bike and pedestrian experience.”
The festival is free and open to all ages. It includes a lantern walk across the I Street Bridge with live music and entertainment. The walk will begin at the 201 C Street West Sacramento Parking Lot, located at the base of the I Street Bridge, at 7:30 p.m. Parking is available on the street and in the Ziggurat Garage after 6:00 p.m.
The first 200 community members to arrive early from 6 to 7 p.m. will have the opportunity to decorate one-of-a-kind LED lanterns to carry during the lantern walk. Or bring your own. Here are some ideas for DIY lanterns you can make at home. More than 250 people attended two lantern creation workshops in preparation for the festival, which took place on March 2 and March 9. The workshops were led by artists Robin Hill and Robert Ortbal, faculty members at UC Davis and Sacramento State.
The existing I Street Bridge, built in 1912, provides a critical railroad line for regional and national goods movement. The Cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento received a Caltrans Sustainable Communities Grant to study how to transform the upper deck of the bridge to serve only pedestrians and bicyclists. Motorized vehicles would be moved from the existing bridge to the new I Street Bridge, planned for construction just to the north. The top deck can provide safe, ADA compliant bike/ped/scooter friendly paths with an elevated plaza overlooking the River for celebrations and visiting with neighbors.
“The I Street Bridge has been a workhorse for our two cities for more than a century,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Now we have the opportunity to turn it into a modern amenity where people can enjoy and interact with the Sacramento River rather than just crossing it in their cars. I’m excited to see the ideas that our community comes up with for the bridge’s next phase.”
To accommodate Lantern Festival set up and other logistics, the I Street Bridge and several surrounding streets will be closed to vehicle traffic starting at noon Saturday, March 23 through midnight.
The public is encouraged to come by foot, bike, or transit. There will be a complimentary bike valet provided by SABA for those who would like to bike to the event.