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)
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.
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.