A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Newport’s Purple People Bridge illuminated for holiday season; take a walk along the scenic wonder

Starting this weekend the Purple People Bridge will be illuminated for the holiday season, presenting its annual Winter Nights & River Lights event.

Photo by Ken Rechtin

Visitors can walk the Purple People Bridge to experience thousands of holidays lights, projected lighting, seasonal music, wreaths, and scenic views of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Winter Nights & River Lights is free to the public and will be on every evening from November 18 until January 8.

“The Winter Nights & River Lights event will complete a year-long celebration for the Purple People Bridge’s 150th anniversary,” said President of The Purple People Bridge Company, Will Weber. “We are grateful to our sponsors who continue to make this holiday tradition possible. It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone in the community to experience some holiday magic for free on the iconic Purple People Bridge.”

The Christmas event and holiday decorations are a joint effort from The Purple People Bridge Company, Newport on the Levee, CIG Communities, VS Engineering, Inc., Corporex Companies, Southbank Partners, Republic Bank, Newport Foundation, and Shiners on the Levee.

The bridge will also feature a 25-foot-tall Christmas Wish Tree. This Wish Tree connects with the community to provide gifts for individuals in need such as troubled teens, disabled individuals, and disadvantaged seniors.

A new element this year will be a unique glowing yarn art installation for all to enjoy along the bridge approach ramps in Newport and Cincinnati by BLINK Artist Dan Shields.

When visiting the bridge for the holiday lights, guests might notice a new sign at the base of the bridge on the Newport, KY entrance. The Purple People Bridge unveiled the new welcome sign on Friday, November 18. Representative Rachel Roberts issued a proclamation recognizing the Purple People Bridge and its 150th anniversary. Commissioner Dennis Keene with the Kentucky Department of Local Government was on site to read the proclamation on behalf of Representative Roberts.

The new welcome sign honors the Purple People Bridge’s history as a permanent fixture and iconic landmark in our community since 1872. All the different names of the bridge over the years are visible on the sign along with a new tagline, “Connecting People and Communities for over 150 years”. The Bridge Company plans to unveil a similar welcome sign at the base of the bridge on the Cincinnati, OH entrance next year.

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