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Arts and Entertainment

A Farewell Party For The Sixth Street Bridge With Food Trucks And Fireworks

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A festival this weekend will celebrate the historic Sixth Street Bridge before it's demolished and rebuilt.

The iconic bridge—which spans the L.A. River from Boyle Heights to the Arts District—is slated for closure and demolition in January 2016. However, this 3,500-foot-long bridge, officially known as the "Sixth Street Viaduct," will be replaced with a shiny new one.

Before the demolition, the Sixth Street Bridge Farewell Festival will send it off in grand style. Festivities planned for this Saturday will take place on and around the bridge, and feature some big name bands, food trucks, live mural paintings and even a fireworks show at the end of the night.

The free event begins at 2 p.m. with children's games and activities, several food trucks, community events and a mural painting by local artists. There will also be an exhibit off of the Sixth Street Bridge with inspired art from Art Share L.A., a community art space.

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There will be musical performances throughout the day from the likes of War, Aloe Blacc, Graciela Beltran, the adorable Angela & Leonardo Aguilar, as well as local acts like The Cold & Lovely. Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas—who grew up in Boyle Heights—will also be DJing.

The night will end with a fireworks display over the bridge.

The current plan to demolish the bridge is scheduled to begin in January and is expected to be torn down over a nine-month period. Built in 1932, the bridge has dramatically deteriorated over the decades largely due to a rare chemical reaction in the cement supports. According to the event's website, the bridge is "eating itself up from the inside. The alkali-silica reaction threatens the long-term integrity of the bridge, where there's a 70% chance of it coming down in a major earthquake over the next 50 years."

After the demolition of the existing structure, a new one designed by Michael Maltzan will be built in its place. The $449 million project will be the largest bridge project in L.A. history, according to the project's website. The new design will feature multiple, swooping arches—known as “The Ribbon of Light"— and is expected to feature parks, public art and other community features, as well as dedicated bike lanes and pedestrian walkways. Construction for the project is expected to be completed sometime in 2019.