By Steve Brandt
Harvest Fest, a family friendly community event for the past three years at the corner of Penn and Lowry avenues, is taking a quantum leap this year, thanks to Open Streets Mpls.

The Sept. 29 event will stretch for 23 blocks along Lowry from Upton Avenue to N. 4th St., and that entire length of Lowry will be open for biking or on-foot activities. The Saturday event lasts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It’s the third Open Streets Mpls closing of a city street to cars, but the organization’s first such event on the North Side after two successive closings of Lyndale Avenue. Typically, Harvest Fest occupies just one closed street.

You can even get your bike blessed at noon or 2 p.m. at Christ English Lutheran Church, 3210 Oliver Av. N.

Besides a car-free Lowry, the event offers six stages featuring a healthy sprinkling of local youth performers from Patrick Henry High School and local music schools on up to seasoned performers such as Dennis Spears and his jazz trio.

There are contests galore, including the best tasting tomato, hottest pepper, oddest vegetable, largest squash and a bakeoff. For more details, go to the Lowry Corridor Business Association or check the Sept. 26 edition of NorthNews.

With this much fun, even the delayed reopening of the Lowry Avenue Bridge can’t be far off. It’s not official yet, but the link between North and Northeast could have an Oct. 27 ribbon-cutting.