Open Streets is a phenomenon that has swept the world over the past decade and has just recently made its way to Fort Collins, Colorado.
In the most simple of terms, Open Streets is designed to give the streets back to the people for a day to do whatever they so choose and do so without cars getting in the way. Sunday’s event will take place on Remington Street between Lake and Mountain. One of the event organizers, Nick Heimann has outlined five goals for the event, which the Raintree Athletic Club will help promote.
- Encourage active, sustainable transportation.
- Promote a culture of health & well-being.
- Increase awareness and acceptability of streets as public facilities with multiple uses.
- Build community by engaging residents of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
- Promote economic vibrancy by engaging local businesses.
“We are expecting 5,000 people, maybe more and we will look to pull off the same sort of idea (as the weekly event in Bogota, Columbia called Ciclovia),” Heimann explained. “We plan activity hubs throughout the route and at each hub we have all sorts of activities including live yoga classes, a live Zumba class presented by RAC, karate demos and so much more.”
“We encourage our business partners to engage with people differently than they would during a regular festival or business expo. We encourage creativity and want each booth to incorporate their brand into something inspired by health and activity. This is much less about selling product and more about making face-to-face contact with new businesses in a new neighborhood and in a place where people can come out and explore for the day.”
RAC group fitness instructor Heather Martin will be on stage, representing the club, at 10:30am with a 30 minute Zumba class.
Still in its infancy in Fort Collins, Open Streets organizers have had a great deal of positive feedback from the community regarding past events and the resounding feedback is “We Want More!” A recent survey conducted by the city said most people would love to see an event seasonally.
“We think this is something that fits nicely with the culture of Fort Collins,” he said. “Since we are not really interested in just adding another event to the great ones that we already have, we want to try and have something that is a little bit different and I think we are on our way there.”
For more details on Open Streets visit: www.fcgov.com/openstreets
By: Jon Yunt