There was an exquisitely detailed cake shaped like a water pipe, frosting bolts, flanges and water bubbling at the end. There was also a traditional bakery cake announcing "100 Miles of Main Replaced."
A neighbor dressed up her beagle as a construction worker with wrenches tucked in to his safety vest. No hard hat though.
A woman from the Water Utility's outreach department spoke to around 30 kids from the local elementary school. She talked about where water comes from, and how these kids might be designing, or digging, or doing customer service in the Water Utility when they grow up. They will certainly be paying the bills! The lesson ended with a very Madisonian chant:
The kids and all of us were invited to sign the pipe before it was installed. My contribution was "Jesse the K [infrastructure] rocks"
Finally, they installed the pipe! One worker got in the excavator's cab and very carefully moved the ~500 pound, 20-foot long black iron pipe into place.
The street had already been dug up and was ready to receive the pipe: inside the 10 foot deep ditch, a steel cage called a "shoe" made a safe place for the three other workers to move the pipe around.
In the photo, you can just see one worker's hand on the edge of the shoe:
It wouldn't be a party without swag! I'm now the happy owner of a "No Water, No Coffee" mug from the Madison Water Utility.