REDDING, Calif. - Celebrate 10, the two-week celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the Sundial Bridge, kicks off Friday. Months of planning and promotion of Celebrate 10 has garnered regional and statewide attention for Redding, Calif.
The ten-year anniversary of the Sundial Bridge presented an opportunity for community collaboration on a grand scale. Approximately one year ago, several key community leaders recognized this opportunity and came together to turn a big dream into a reality.
Bev Stupek, occupation development officer at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, was one of the first to realize the magnitude of the event and what would evolve into Celebrate 10.
"It dawned on me last summer that July 4, 2014 would be the ten-year anniversary of the grand opening of the Sundial Bridge," Stupek said. "It just felt like this was a golden opportunity for everyone to come together to celebrate something with unanimity and show off to the greater world how special our community really is."
Director of Marketing for the Civic Auditorium Nathan Parmelee and Kim Niemer, director of community services for the City of Redding, were both eager to be a part of the growing team that would ultimately include the McConnell Foundation, Shasta County Arts Council, Catalyst and several more local organizations.
"The sentiment that reverberated through the three of us, was that this was a go big or go home scenario," Parmelee said. "We decided from the beginning that this was not something that we wanted to go halfway on, that we would be going all in on this project."
One of the first major event ideas for Celebrate 10 came from Niemer. That idea was to have Bandaloop, a world-renowned vertical-dance pioneer group, to perform off the pylon of the Sundial Bridge.
In the past, Niemer had attempted to get Bandaloop to perform in Redding through a grant, but the city was unable to attain the funds required to bring the group to the community. However, due to the remarkable amount of support provided by local businesses and extensive fundraising efforts by Niemer, Stupek, Parmelee and others, Bandaloop's appearance was secured.
"Originally, the idea was to get Bandaloop to perform during the Freedom Festival on July 4," Niemer said. "But when we presented this initial idea to potential businesses that would play a part in the event, we realized that a lot of the hotels were already booked for that weekend."
It was decided that Bandaloop would perform on June 20 and 21 at sunset -- approximately 8:44 p.m. The second performance would fall on the summer solstice, June 21, a day when the Sundial Bridge is true to its name and its shadow accurately reflects the time. The Bandaloop performance on June 20 and annual Freedom Festival on July 4 opened up a two-week corridor that encouraged a bigger idea: Celebrate 10.
"We all kind of came to the same conclusion to use what is already present and around us -- the Sacramento River, the Civic lawn, the Riverfront Amphitheater-- in a way that the entire community could come together and benefit from," Parmelee said. "A lot of the events for Celebrate 10 were inspired by these resources that have really been underutilized."
The Sundial Splash, for example, is a massive public river float and race that will commence at the boat launch near the Sundial Bridge on the Sacramento River on June 28. This event, beginning at 10:00 a.m., is open to all paddle sport enthusiasts -- from sea kayakers to standup paddle boarders and rafters.
Additionally, the Sundial Celebration at the Civic will be an evening of food, music and fireworks on the front lawn of the Redding Civic Auditorium. There will be live music by Sara Oliviera, Cattle Rocket and DJ Jake Easy as well as a bistro village featuring several local restaurants. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. on June 28, and music will begin at 7:00 p.m.
Throughout the two-week duration of Celebrate 10, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, as well as the Museum Store and Cafe, will be open with extended hours on certain evenings. Docent and staff led tours of the Sundial Bridge will also be offered to guests throughout the celebration.
"Celebrate 10 has the potential to be a historic event for Redding," Stupek said. "I think that people can easily be unaware of the power an architectural icon can have on a region. It can define it and provide a city with a sense of place and civic pride, which is what the Sundial Bridge has done for Redding and what Celebrate 10 is really all about."
For additional information on all Celebrate 10 events, visit www.celebrate10.com.