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Bob the Bridge

Bob the Bridge Sign

In 1992, the Town of Avon, CO was faced with a problem. The railroad track ran smack across the middle of the main thoroughfare, Avon Road. With about 25 trains passing through a day, traffic would back up and cause gridlock as everyone waited for the train to pass.

Avon officials knew there had to be a better way. And there was: they dug about 20 feet under the existing road to create a new one. But, the new road had to cross over the Eagle River. With the help of 7 funding partners, Avon built a 50 yd., four-lane bridge to do the job.Unable to unanimously decide on a name for the bridge, the Avon Merchant's Association held a contest to give the new bridge a name. And the winning entry was an average, ordinary name (just like the bridge) ….. BOB.

A local promoter decided to host a festival to commemorate the bridge and all named "Bob" or just friends of "Bob".Avon received national attention for its refreshing sense of humor and everything snowballed from there.

The first event was held in 1992 and included such activities as: Bob-b-Q cook off; BobBall; bob Golf Putting Tournament; Bobby-sox concert and Bob-R-Shop Quartets. The festival continued for three years each Memorial Day Weekend. It ceased due to consistent weather problems and fizzled local enthusiasm.Picture of Bridge from River

After Pentax cameras ran a commercial around Christmas of 1997, interest returned to the event. The commercial began by saying, "Each year Avon, CO host a Festival for Bobs". The camera was being marketed as an easy to use, can't-go-wrong camera. Avon Town Council decided to combine two festivals into one: The BobFest and SummerFest. The new name : BobSummerFest.

In 1998, War and The Freddy Jones Band played. In 1999, Julian Lennon and Soul Asylum played. Once again, local enthusiasm has dwindled and Avon currently does not hold an annual event. Although, the Avon Recreation Center sells "Bob the Bridge signs" and you can frequently see people stopping by Bob to see it and take pictures.

 

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Photos courtesy of Norman Wood