• Photos by Roxanne Thompson/The Groesbeck Journal
    Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson shares a few minutes with Madison Allen, 8, daughter of the late DPS Trooper Damon Allen after Wilson helped Madison turn on the lights at the Bridge-Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Old Navasota River Bridge.
  • Photos by Roxanne Thompson/The Groesbeck Journal
    Those attending the Bridge-Lighting Ceremony Tuesday night at the Old Navasota River Bridge break into applause as they see the Christmas lights illuminated for the first time this season. Shown here, at left, is Limestone County Judge Daniel Burkeen, who conducted the brief ceremony. Many other county and city officials also attended.
  • Photos by Roxanne Thompson/The Groesbeck Journal
    Attendees at the Bridge-Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 5, socialize as they wait for the event to begin. Shown here, l-r, are Mexia Mayor Richard Duncan, County Tax Assessor-Collector Stacy Hall, District Clerk Carol Jenkins and County Clerk Peggy Beck.
  • Photos by Roxanne Thompson/The Groesbeck Journal
    Groesbeck Mayor Ray O’Docharty and wife Geri relax after the communal meal in the Limestone County courthouse basement, which followed the Bridge-Lighting Ceremony at the Old Navasota River Bridge on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
  • Photos by Roxanne Thompson/The Groesbeck Journal
    Karmen Hoffpauier, left, and Kerrie Cobb, both of whom work in the Limestone County courthouse, enjoy a barbecue meal catered by Kirby’s Barbeque Tuesday night, Dec. 5, in the courthouse basement, part of the Bridge-Lighting Ceremony that began at the Old Navasota River Bridge.

Late Trooper’s daughter switches on bridge lights

By Roxanne Thompson, Staff Writer

Leaders of Limestone County and its two largest cities, Groesbeck and Mexia, met at the Old Navasota River Bridge Tuesday, Dec. 5, for the annual Bridge-Lighting Ceremony, and the  special guest to turn on the lights was Madison Allen, 8, who was there with her mother, Kasey Allen, and other family members of the late DPS Trooper Damon Allen.

There may not be a Bridge-Lighting Ceremony in 2018 since the historic bridge on Hwy. 14, near LCR 402, is scheduled to be rehabilitated by the state in the fall of 2018. 

The bridge is covered with rust, and the concrete portions have many large chunks missing and exposed rebar. 

The three entities that care for the bridge – Limestone County, Groesbeck and Mexia – take turns hosting the event. The Bridge-Lighting Ceremony is one of the times the three entities come together in a joint effort, and it is considered a time of rapport and cooperation.

The hosting entity conducts a short ceremony by saying a few words of blessing on the county and its cities, then having someone turn on the Christmas lights on the bridge.

This year, County Sheriff Dennis Wilson accompanied Madison to the switch on the south side of the structure, while County Judge Daniel Burkeen gave an opening prayer and a few words of welcome.

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.

Groesbeck Journal

P.O. Box 440
Groesbeck, TX 76642
Phone: 254-729-5103
Fax: 254-729-0362