Steel Bridge Songfest: A Brief History
In 1996, a grassroots group called "the SOBs" (Save Our Bridge) was organized to save Sturgeon Bay's Michigan Street Bridge from the scheduled wrecking ball. Around 2005, Citizens for Our Bridge (CFOB) was registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to preserving and promoting this historic bridge through community outreach and education by use of creative musical events and projects. To build public appreciation for the bridge and the Historic Downtown District located in Sturgeon Bay (Door County, WI), a week-long celebration is held every June in and around the Holiday Music Motel.
Songwriters and musicians from around the world, including Jackson Browne, Jane Wiedlin (Go-Go's), James McMurtry, Louise Goffin and hundreds of others have been drawn to this community, donating their time and talents to perform at Steel Bridge Songfest. A selection of musicians spend the week prior to the festival taking part in the annual Construction Zone songwriting intensive, where they collaborate on co-writing and recording new material inspired by the bridge. A collection of original songs (Steel Bridge Songfest Songs) serves double-duty as testament and celebration.

Since 2007, thanks to assistance from the National Trust For Historic Preservation and funds raised through the Songfest, Sturgeon Bay's Historic "Steel Bridge" has been protected as a national treasure, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Her 80th birthday was celebrated in the summer of 2011 with completion of the long awaited rehab. Since the bridge is officially "saved," CFOB's continued mission is to honor the bridge as a living symbol of creative collaboration and preservation thriving together harmoniously, building community, drawing greater beauty and vitality to our surroundings.
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