On Wednesday, May 12, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced the official calendar of events for Bronx Week 2010, a series of festivities, taking place from Saturday May 15 through Sunday May 23, celebrating the people, places, culture and history of the Bronx. The announcement was made during the Madison Avenue Bridge Centennial celebration.

“The best week of the year in our borough is back. This time we have organized even more events, while keeping the traditional ones, to celebrate the beauty, culture, talent and development of our neighborhoods and their residents. Let’s all celebrate The Bronx!” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Borough President Diaz also announced the names of the celebrities and notable Bronxites that will be included on the Bronx Walk of Fame 2010. This year’s inductees are: romantic singer Jerry Vale, founder and chairman of Essence magazine Edward Lewis, Irish traditional music sensations Joanie Madden and Cherish the Ladies, and former Bronx Borough President and Congressman Herman Badillo.

This year’s Bronx Week highlights include a homeowner’s forum, a franchise fair, a Zumba marathon, a youth relation’s forum, as well as some of the more popular events from past years, such as the DiVa Spa, the Big Band Brunch, the Health Fair and the annual Bronx Parade, which this year is dedicated to the borough’s schools. All the events are organized to pay tribute to the progress and success of Bronx people, businesses, educational and cultural institutions and civic groups.

Bronx Week is organized by the Bronx Tourism Council and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, and sponsored primarily by Montefiore Medical Center and HealthPlus, in association with Con Edison, Affinity Health Plan, Verizon, Emblem Health, the Bronx CUNY Colleges, AmeriChoice, Citi, BronxNet, WBLS, Domino’s Pizza, and the New York Daily News.

“At Health Plus we are thrilled to once again be a Gold Sponsor of Bronx Week. This event grows bigger, better, and more beautiful each year and we are proud to partner with the Borough President, Bronx Tourism Council, BOEDC, and other sponsors to make this year’s Bronx Week the best one yet says,” said Chief Marketing Officer Ada Rodriguez.

“Montefiore Medical Center is once again delighted to be a principal sponsor of Bronx Week 2010,” said Steven M. Safyer, President and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center. “We are particularly pleased that Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has put his support behind all the health promotion activities that will be occurring during the week. Each day of Bronx Week will include activities focused on health education and promotion. Montefiore is committed to strengthening our partnership with our Borough President to foster the health and well-being of Bronx residents.”

As part of the Bronx Week 2010 kick off, Borough President Diaz, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and Sam Schwartz, president and co-founder of the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission, marked the 100th anniversary of the Madison Avenue Bridge. The borough presidents met in the middle of the bridge accompanied by marching bands from Manhattan and The Bronx, where they cut a birthday cake to end the centennial celebration.

“First we celebrated the 100th anniversary of both the University Heights Bridge and the Pelham Bay Bridge, and now we commemorate ten decades of the Madison Avenue Bridge, bridges that help to unify the five boroughs into one great city,” said Borough President Diaz.

“The Madison Avenue Bridge is not only a link between the Bronx and Manhattan, it’s also a precious link to our past. As we celebrate the span’s centennial, it’s important to note that the City must continue to invest in its infrastructure, so that generations of New Yorkers will be able to take advantage of valuable resources like this bridge,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer.

“The Madison Ave. Bridge exemplifies the diverse quality of bridges New York City has to offer. Serving as the gateway to two very distinctive communities, the Madison Ave. Bridge is the life blood for the 50,000 vehicles who use the bridge on a daily basis to go work, make deliveries, visit family and friends, attend Yankee games and so forth,” said Schwartz.

The current Madison Avenue Bridge is a four lane (two in each direction) swing bridge that opened to traffic on July 18th, 1910. Costing about $2.2 million, the bridge spans approximately 300 feet and links Madison Avenue in the Harlem/Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan with 138th Street near the Grand Concourse in the South Bronx. Located less than ten blocks from both the 145th St. and Third Ave. Bridges, the Madison Avenue Bridge provides vital links to both the FDR Drive and the Major Deegan Expressway. The original bridge, which opened in 1884, was replaced with the current structure, because of the area’s rapid growth. On average, the bridge carries about 50,000 vehicles per day.

For more information on the Bronx Week festivities of 2010, visit bronxweekevents.com.