Campus & Community

Lighting the way

2 min read

Weeks Footbridge brightens up for fall equinox

Morris dancers on the
The Pinewoods Morris Men join in a celebration with Harvard and the local communities honoring the beginning of the new season and the new, lovely lighting on the Weeks Memorial Footbridge. (Staff photos Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard News Office)

The river, a footbridge, music, and light drew a few thousand Cambridge and Allston neighbors to the Charles riverbanks for a fall equinox celebration on Sept. 22. Organized by the Charles River Conservancy and the Revels, the event marked the beginning of fall and the first evening of permanent illumination for the Weeks Memorial Footbridge, which connects Harvard’s Cambridge and Allston campuses.

Spectators of all ages and from all corners of the community lining either side of the Charles were knit together by sound as chanting voices echoed the call of

decorations on the bridge ‘RiverSing: Bridging the Charles With Voice and Light’ celebrates the first day of fall as well as the illumination of the Weeks Memorial Footbridge. Swiss Alp horns.

As dusk fell, drummers kicked up a driving rhythm, young mothers swayed infants on their hips, and college students danced arm in arm. All watched the bridge as the new lights grew brighter.

The event and the permanent lighting of the Weeks Footbridge were made possible by the support of Harvard University, the LEF Foundation, and individual community members.

“This would not have happened without the wealth and dedication of a community,” said Renata von Tscharner, founder and president of the Charles River Conservancy, who added that the public parklands and Weeks Footbridge set the stage for a celebration that engaged everyone. “It has been an amazing collaboration.”

“This is all about connections and our shared environment,” added Mary Power, senior director of community relations at Harvard University, whose office provided more than half of the financial support for the bridge lighting. “This is a beautiful river, a cherished asset to us all. The only way to be good stewards is to join together to maintain this extraordinary community amenity.”

– Lauren Marshall

Kids with fish
Colorful fish cruise along the Weeks Bridge as part of the musical celebration of safety and community.
Erik and Sky
Erik Marks and his baby, Sky, enjoy the view from the banks of the Charles River.