Everyone stood in a knot at the center of the bridge (which surprised me; for some reason, I was sure they'd be on the north side). The officials were covered by a white tent, as if this were a Jewish wedding. Walking closer, I heard applause, and feared: "They've just cut the ribbon; I've missed it!" (But I was wrong -- it was only a smiling politician speechifying.) As I came close, a large white dog barked vaguely at me.
There was a microphone, but you couldn't really hear anything. A small officiant with a Brooklyn accent shouted into the mic: "This is an example of how government works!" That was an applause line.
Almost everyone I know in town was there! It was like a dream, where you see all your friends at one large, unexplained gathering.
Finally, the speeches ended, and the County Executive and our Town Supervisor stepped up to the red, white and blue ribbon. This would be the first ribbon-cutting I'd ever seen (except in movies from the 1930s)! Both leaders toyed with their scissors, while a gaggle of photographers lined up for the single moment, which must be captured exactly.
Two people can't sever a ribbon at once, I realized with anxiety. A ribbon can only be cut with a single blade.
But I was wrong! Two politicians can snip a sash simultaneously if they do it at exactly the same time! Which they did, as photographers clicked. That moment was surprisingly fulfilling, like a Bob Dylan concert.