After being torched by an arsonist more than two years ago, a new version of one of Madison County’s historic covered bridges will open today (Saturday). The new Cedar Bridge will look exactly as it did before the fire according to Brenda Hollingsworth, spokeswoman for the county’s Chamber of Commerce says Governor and Mrs. Vilsack will be at the 5 P-M ribbon-cutting ceremony at the bridge near Winterset which will feature a wine and cheese reception afterwards. The bridge is painted red and is a detailed replica of the original. It is the last of the bridges that can support vehicle traffic and will open to vehicles after the ceremony. Hollingsworth says the bridge burning case is still open. The bridge burned down in September of 2002. No one has been arrested and a 41-thousand dollar reward is still posted for information leading to the capture of the arsonist. Madison County’s Covered Bridge Festival is underway all day today and tomorrow. Hollingsworth says one of the features this year is something called “Cowboy Mounted Action Shooting.” Competitors in period costumes on horseback are using period revolvers and special ammo to shoot balloon-targets. There is also a variety of other entertainment including antiques, crafts, music, food and tours of all six of the county’s covered bridges.
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