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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography

The I-35W Bridge Light Shows

A Look At The I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge
Light Show Events During 2011 And 2012


I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
The new I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge features an innovative LED lighting system where each LED element is individually addressable, allowing any color in the spectrum to be displayed. On most nights, the bridge is bathed in a erie blue glow that looks like something out of a science fiction movie. However, the bridge is occassionaly lit up in other colors for special occasions. I photographed as many of these events that I was aware of during 2011 and 2012. Here are the best of the photos from each of these displays.

If you would like to see the I-35W bridge lit up in a color other than blue, check out the bridge on Friday night around major holidays. This is when the bridge is most likely to be lit up for a special event. Some of the light shows are announced in advance, but many are not. Some displays run throughout a weekend, but many are for just a single night.

The photo above is the Saint Anthony Falls Bridge lit up in a rainbow pattern to celebrate the 2012 Twin Cities Pride Festival on June 22, 2012. The piers were illuminated in purple, a color often associated with the GLBT community. The bridge was first lit up for the Pride Festival in 2011.

Note—these materials are covered by copyright and may not be used without written permission.


I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
The Saint Anthony Falls Bridge was lit up in red, white, and blue for Memorial Day. The light display ran from May 25, 2012, to May 28, 2012, but this photo was taken the night of May 26.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
Saint Patrick's Day is a major night out in the Twin Cities. The day would not be complete without green eggs, green beer, and a green bridge, as seen on the night of March 17, 2012.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
Homecoming 2011 at the University of Minnesota was October 16 through October 22, with the Gophers playing Big 10 rival Nebraska Cornhuskers. Nebraska ran away with the game, 41-14. As part of the homecoming festivities, the I-35W bridge was lit up in maroon and gold on Friday, October 21, 2011.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
Haloween was October, 31, 2011, and a perfect excuse to light up the I-35W bridge in pumpkin orange.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
October is breast cancer awareness month, with October 14, 2011, being the focal point for events across the nation. The Twin Cities held a number of events, including lighting up the I-35W bridge in pink.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
April 28, 2012, was Workers Memorial Day. MN-DOT took the opportunity to light up the I-35W bridge in safety orange to raise awareness for highway workers. 33 MN-DOT and 15 contract workers have died building and repairing roads in Minnesota since 1960. This photo was from Friday night, April 27.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
Veterans Day was celebrated on November 11, 2011, with this patriotic light show put on by MN-DOT.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
The Saint Anthony Falls Bridge was lit up in gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month on September 27, 2012.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
Here we see the structure lit up in alternating red and green to celebrate Christmas on December 25, 2012.

Below is the I-35W bridge in its typical blue color. This view is looking south across the Mississippi River along the downstream east face of the bridge. This view is only possible after the trees lose their leaves. Fortunately, March 2012 was abnormally warm allowing me to get out during a winter month without having to brave the snow and cold.


I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2014, all rights reserved.
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