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LOL at this story about officials arguing over when Lowry Avenue Bridge should be lighted

The bridge opened in October 2012.
The bridge opened in October 2012.

Adorned with LED lights, the Lowry Avenue Bridge in north Minneapolis is capable of lighting up in all sorts of cool colors in commemoration of all sorts of events. But which ones are significant enough to warrant the light-show treatment?

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That was the highly controversial issue before Hennepin County commissioners during a meeting this week.

Check out this excerpt from a Star Tribune report about the discussion that reads like something you'd see in the Onion:

[Hennepin County Commissioner Gail] Dorfman said the bridge looks "really pretty" when it's lit up...

At the other end of the spectrum, Commissioner Jan Callison wanted only federal holidays designated as lighting days. People who wanted other colors on other days would have to apply for them through the county administrator...

McLaughlin took a dim view of that, saying that "relegating" bridge lightings to "what the federal government wants is understating our ability to celebrate this county."

McLaughlin also wanted to flip the switch permanently for Juneteenth, "the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery: pretty important."

Ultimately, the commissioners reached a compromise: Specialized Lowry light shows will occur on federal holidays and a select few other occasions (Halloween, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Kwanzaa, U of M Homecoming, and Worker Memorial Day), while others that received some support from commissioners won't get unique displays (Pride, for example).

And oh yeah, commissioners also agreed to commemoratively light the bridge if a local sports team wins the championship. Here's one more Onion-worthy passage from the Strib about that:

[Commissioner Linda] Higgins successfully persuaded her colleagues to light the bridge if any of the Twin Cities sports teams win championships. [Board Chair Mike] Opat jibed that "none of us will be here to see it." McLaughlin, however, pointed out that the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx have won the past two years.

Left unaddressed, apparently, was this vexing question: If the Minnesota Wild ever win the Stanley Cup, why would Hennepin County celebrate the triumph of a Ramsey County team?

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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