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The Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75

The Bay will undoubtedly be more crowded on Sunday during the Bridge’s 75th anniversary celebrations.

© Rich Niewiroski Jr.

The only Bay Area sailors who haven’t heard about this weekend’s happenings must be living under a bridge. But not the Golden Gate Bridge, as San Francisco’s eyes have turned to the iconic span to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Opened on May 27, 1937, this feat of engineering took just four years to complete, and came in an astonishing $1.3 million under budget. Can you imagine that happening today?

Shoreside activities on Sunday will be held at Fort Point, Crissy Field (sorry, our model Crissy Fields is off on assignment this weekend so she won’t be attending), the Presidio, Marina Green, and on down to Pier 39. The festivities will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display at the Bridge itself from 9:30 to 10 p.m.

Of course, getting anywhere near the Bridge by land is going to be a nightmare, so this is a great opportunity to invite a gaggle of friends to join you aboard your boat for a fireworks viewing party. KFOG 104.5/97.7FM will be simulcasting a soundtrack for the show, so tune in while you’re out there — just leave the adult beverage (at least for the helmsperson) for when you return. The Coast Guard has set up a restricted zone for the fireworks, which will be in effect from 8:30 to 10:15 p.m., and they will be enforcing it. If there’s an urgent reason you must enter the restricted zone between those times, contact the Coasties on VHF 23A or at (415) 399-3547.

If you want to make a weekend of it, be sure to head out on Saturday when the USS Iowa will finally leave the Bay on her way south. Originally scheduled to depart on Monday, rough offshore conditions have kept her in port. The WWII battleship will sail beneath the Bridge sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. Just watch out for people in the water in the early morning as an invitational swim from Alcatraz to the Cityfront will be starting at 7:45 a.m.

The Iowa was removed from the mothball fleet in Suisun Bay last October, and has been refit for a trip to Los Angeles, where she’ll be turned into a floating museum by the Pacific Battleship Center.

© Mike Koller

As a reminder, Monday is Memorial Day, which means ‘Lectronic Latitude (and the whole Latitude staff) will be taking the day off. Have fun out there this weekend, but be safe!

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Though Hurricane Bud, the first of the Eastern Pacific (Mexico) region, has weakened as it nears shore, it’s still blowing at 100 knots and should make landfall tonight between Manzanillo and Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarta).