LAKE HAVASU, Ariz. (UPI) -- The London Bridge -- the largest antique ever sold -- reopened for business this weekend on the Arizona desert, halfway around the world from the River Thames.
Eight hundred guests dined atop the bridge Saturday night at a banquet recreating one given on Aug. 1, 1831, by King William IV and Queen Adelaide when the bridge first opened.
The Lord Mayor of London, Sir Peter M. Studd, and Arizona Gov. Jack Williams headed the list of dignitaries who flew in for the party and flew off to Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles to spend the night before grand opening ceremonies Sunday, including a big parade over the bridge.
It took a crew of 40 men 23 months to reassemble all 10,276 granite blocks in precisely the same order they were when the bridge was built one and a half centuries ago. The project cost $7 million.
A new waterway had to be dredged for the bridge to cross over -- Bridgewater -- and an English village was built on its banks, featuring an English pub and a shopping complex.
For Saturday's festivities, the bridge was covered with a red and white striped canvas top.
The formally dressed guests dined on fine crystal and bone china under the largest chandeliers ever hung in a tent.
The four-course dinner, prepared by a crew of 125 kitchen workers trucked in from California and quartered in nearby trailers, included lobster Vellevue, prime sirloin of roast beef, cornish pasties, canneloni Florentine, champagne-glazed baby Belgian carrots and a bridge-shaped cake.