In Spanish-speaking countries, they’re known as Ciclovias. In most cities across America, they’re called Open Streets. Either way, they’re events that close city streets to vehicles so people can fill the streets to walk, bike, dance, socialize and play.
Now Indianapolis is joining the fun. The inaugural Open Streets Indy is Sunday, Sept. 29, from noon to 5 p.m. on Westfield Boulevard between College Avenue and 53rd Street. The free family event features an afternoon of active fun where participants can enjoy themselves and explore their city from a new perspective. Activities along the 1.8 mile-route will include participatory fitness classes, group dances, chalk art, games, music, food trucks, and kids’ activities and contests.
In addition, there are several activity hubs. The Rivera Club will host a one-mile fun run, tennis games, shuffleboard, pickleball, live music, and food and drink for purchase. Alice Carter Place Park at Westfield Boulevard and Meridian Street will feature free kids’ activities and prizes , including a bounce house. The Chase Bank parking lot at 56th and Illinois will feature bicycling activities with bike decorating and a bike bucket workshop.
“Open Streets Indy is a community event that provides an opportunity for physical activity in a fun, safe
environment,” said Megan Treida, who is organizing the event on behalf of the American College of Sports Medicine. “Bring your bike or your dancing shoes and check it out.”
The first Ciclovia is said to have taken place in Bogata, Columbia, in the 1970s. Several Latin American cities now block off streets every Sunday and on holidays for the exclusive use of runners, skaters and bicyclists. At the same time, aerobics instructors, yoga teachers and musicians lead people in various dances and routines. Bogota’s weekly Ciclovias are attended by approximately 2 million people. Today more than 90 North American cities have hosted Open Streets events.
WHAT: Open Streets Indy
WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 29, noon to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Westfield Boulevard between College Ave. and 53rd St.
Programming organizations include the following.
Animal Care and Control, Ballare Ballroom, Big Car, CICOA Aging & IN-Home Solutions, Central Indiana Bicycling Association (CIBA), The Dailey Method, Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, Green Bean Delivery, IndyCOG, Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Rowing Center, Indy Air Bears, Indy Parks, Invoke Studios, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB), Minority Health Coalition of Marion County, MOTUS Dance, Naptown Stomp Lindy Hop Society, Riolo Dance, Santosha School Yoga, Tango Indy
Event sponsors include: American College of Sports Medicine, Central Indiana Community Foundation,
Band of Neighbors by Angie’s List, Butler University, Bottle Free Indy, Renfro Productions, AARP Indiana,
Bicycle Garage Indy, Commuter Connect, Fit Fly Flex, IndyGo, Indy Connect, Reconnecting Our
Waterways, SmallBox, Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS, Midtown, The Riviera Club,
Marion County Public Health Department, Health by Design and the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability.