Longview, WA, isn’t content to have one fabulous squirrel bridge. Starting at the first annual Squirrel Fest this August, they may add a new squirrel conveyance every year.
As we’ve covered earlier, Longview whimsically set up an elaborate squirrel bridge in 1963. Some dismal practicalities forced the town to move the bridge to an out of the way rodent crossing. But last year a visionary local group known as the sandbaggers restored the The Nutty Narrows Bridge to its place of prominence and honor.
Come August, the town will install a second bridge. And, better yet, start a contest of bridge design with hopes of putting up another fancy bridge next year, says Norma Davey. So far the squirrels seem to be adapting fine to the bridges moving. “We sent out a notification notice,” she says. “And they seem to be fine with it.”
Oh please, let one of the engineers study the famous BBC experimental squirrel obstacle course. Researchers gave squirrels with a food supply, then made squirrels solve a problem to get to it. After they learned to, say, crawl through a tube, they’d add another challenge, then another. In the end the squirrels would ride in cars and take jumps to get to the food.
There are a lot of universally appealing events cluttering up the August 6 schedule, but squirrel fans will focus on these highlights:
Kids’ stuff: Kids wear costumes and I hope a lot of of them are squirrels. They’ll hunt for nuts, eat cupcakes with puffy peanuts and hit an acorn piñata.
New squirrel bridge: City’s new copper bridge unveiled.
Chainsaw carving exhibition: Artist carve squirrel-related pieces. The town already has a huge squirrel sculpture to honor the original bridge builder, Amos Peters.
A few towns around the country have started celebrating their black or white squirrels. But Longview didn’t have any help from novelty squirrels. They just have their own goofy enthusiasm–and now a fun squirrel festival.
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