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Frankenmuth News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 ~ Vol. 109 No. 8

Due to the Labor Day holiday, the News office will be closed on Friday, August 29 and reopen on Monday, September 1 at 8am.

   

  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been all the rage over the past two weeks and literally thousands of these challenges have gone viral all over the state and country. Mike Young Buick GMC was challenged by Young Chevrolet Cadillac and they had 24 hours to take on the task. The event was videoed, led by Stacy Young Piper, who after the ice bath, challenged Dawn Zimmer of Zimco, Scott Zimmer of Air Advantage and Rummel Insurance Agency’s Greg Rummel and Larry Michael. At the top, the employees dumped ice water over their heads. They raised $1,500 for ALS, of which $650 was donated by the employees if dealership owner Mike Young participated. The photo below shows Young, in a blue shirt, getting extra special treatment – a Bobcat bucket filled with cold water and dumped by Young salesman Mike Piper. Well over 20 employees enjoyed the cold bath on a warm Monday afternoon. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started when 29-year-old Peter Frates, diagnosed with ALS in 2012, posted an ice bucket video on social media and challenge a few friends to follow his lead. (News photos)

Holbruecke Walk a Labor Day tradition

  Persons who want to participate in a traditional Labor Day bridge walk but are unable to join the usual crowd traversing Michigan’s five-mile-long Mighty Mac might want to consider another option: Frankenmuth Holzbruecke Traverse.

  The William “Tiny” and Dorothy Zehnder family invite area residents and guests to join them for their annual Labor Day walk across the wooden bridge. The bridge spans the Cass River, connecting the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Bavarian Inn Lodge properties. Labor Day is Monday, September 1.

  “The walk is a celebration of the painstaking labor and ‘little miracle’ it took to make the bridge a reality in 1979,” Bavarian Inn Restaurant President Bill Zehnder said.

  The Holzbruecke Traverse has been taking place since the mid-1980s, founded by the late Louise Schneider and her husband, Al. During the formative years, the gathering mostly included family and friends of the Schneiders.

  In keeping with the custom, the walk will begin at noon on the east side of the bridge, near a small pavilion in the Covered Bridge parking lot. Persons should begin assembling around 11:30 to 11:45am.

  At noon, Bavarian Inn’s Linda Lee and Wild Bill Anders will be joined by other musicians and the Frankenmuth Gemuetlichkeit Club in leading the throng on the five-minute walk over the bridge. The walk concludes at the Fischer Platz, an outdoor entertainment café located just south of the Glockenspiel.

  Walkers are invited join in as the Gemuetlichkeit Club will sing German, patriotic and other popular songs for about one hour. Linda Lee and Anders take over following the club’s performance.

  The 230-ton, 239-foot covered bridge was built by the family corporation with Tiny and his brother, Eddie Zehnder, managing the project. It originally linked the Bavarian Inn complex with additional parking across the Cass River, but became the gateway to the Bavarian Inn Lodge in 1986.

  New Hampshire bridge builder Milton Graton, along with his son and grandson, handcrafted the bridge over the course of a year with wood that originated in Oregon and Alpena, Michigan.

  The bridge was originally constructed on a rise of land east of the river and later moved to its home over the Cass. That arduous  process required a capstan, which was turned by nearly everyone in town – plus a team of champion oxen – over the course of several days during a particularly cold January in 1980.

  Bill Zehnder relates a story on the bridge’s final installation: “The media was on hand to cover the bridge’s final installation. As the capstan was to be turned one final time – with cameras rolling – it did not budge, but was frozen in place. As the local pastor from St. Lorenz (Lutheran Church) started to give the benediction, the bridge broke free of the ice and inched into place.”

  “It was a miracle,” Dorothy Zehnder recalls.

 


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