This weekend (half of) our little family ventured downtown to visit Bloomington’s first Open Streets event. From the Open Streets Project’s website:
Open streets initiatives temporarily close streets to automobile traffic, so that people may use them for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing, and socializing. With more than 90 documented initiatives in North America, open streets are increasingly common in cities seeking innovative ways to achieve environmental, social, economic, and public health goals.
For Bloomington that meant closing down one of the most popular streets in B-town (Kirkwood Ave) from College to Rogers and filling the streets with TONS of physical activity, music, and a little bit of food. We really enjoyed the Contra Dancing exhibit and performance, along with Nia, and the Panache Dancers. What can I say, we have a thing for dancers! Griffin (our wee little boy, pictured above) really appreciated the obstacle (he calls it the ‘popsicle’) course from the Boys and Girls Club. Girls Scouts were also there with some awesome hula hoops to share, and of course, where would we be without scrumptious local food? Well, Sweet Claire Bakery was on hand with some delicious baked goods, and streetside the Irish Lion offered a few of their specialties right outside of the Lion’s Den, an outdoor seating area between the old Smith-Holden building and Crazy Horse.
The crowds were there, people were active and dancing and smiling, and we certainly left happy. What I hope to see more of represented at the next Open Streets event would be the Arts in Bloomington; just because we have loads of art fairs (terrific ones at that) there are some amazing arts organizations that belong out there beside the street dancers and the rock climbing wall.