Grab your walking shoes, bikes and Big Wheels and come play on car-free downtown streets Sunday, September 18 from 1-5 PM. Open Streets Asheville is a free, all-ages event that’s building a healthier, happier Asheville! Join us for an afternoon of free yoga, dance and gymnastics workshops; sport skill clinics; community arts; special promotions and more presented by nearly 50 locally-owned businesses and organizations. Just announced: the raffle of a new kids’ Schwinn Frontier bicycle.
Unique among festivals, Open Streets Asheville celebrates Asheville’s current assets and builds our shared future. Restaurants and cafes on the route will be open for dining; many shops will offer activities and special promotions in addition to always-unique shopping. The streets are temporarily closed to cars and open to residents experiencing downtown on bike and foot; tents are few and far between. The only vendors present have permanent addresses on the route. “We’re celebrating active lifestyles and building community through shared street fun in downtown,” says Danise Hauser. “It’s Asheville’s ‘front porch,’ the familiar place where neighbors gather, shop, and visit in the spirit of fun.”
Co-sponsored by the City of Asheville; Buncombe County; MAHEC; Asheville on Bikes; Go Mountain Commuting (a project of Land of Sky Regional Council); Safe Routes to School; WNC Bicycle Dealers Association; Liberty Bicycles; Motion Makers Bicycle Shop; Altamont Environmental; University of North Carolina at Asheville; CAKE Websites; and Suzanne Molloy of Keller Williams Realty, this car-free downtown event promotes physical activity and wellness as it builds local community connections — all through shared fun on our streets.
Patton Avenue’s Pritchard Park anchors the 1.5 mile car-free route of active community fun. Come build a pop-up playground with natural materials. Play hopscotch. Learn to juggle! Rediscover local shops and cafes. Stroll the route and dine outdoors to watch the fun.
We expect Open Streets Asheville to become a regular, much-anticipated part of our community’s culture (as it has globally) by promoting health and creating streets that meet the needs of all who live here. Join the movement. Come play in the streets!
“We’re pleased to participate in an event that invites the community into the city center to experience that which is already here,” says Thomas Wright, co-owner of Battery Park Book Store with his wife Donna. “It is a well-grounded idea that we hope will become naturally successful.”
“It’s a unique opportunity for Asheville locals to rediscover community and the fun of physical activity as they play in the streets, and shop and dine at the businesses downtown,” says Terri March, Health Improvement Specialist at MAHEC. “A happier, healthier Asheville is good for everyone.”
“Enthusiasm for our inaugural Open Streets has been wonderful,” says March. “We expect Open Streets Asheville will become a regular, much-anticipated part of our community’s culture — as it has globally — by promoting health and creating streets that meet the needs of all who live here.”