A nearly 2-mile stretch of Minneapolis’ Franklin Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic Sunday so residents can explore and celebrate their neighborhood on foot, bike or skates.
The free festival is one of seven “Open Streets Minneapolis” events this summer initiated by Our Streets Minneapolis, formerly the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. The city of Minneapolis and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota also throw their support behind the events.
The idea is that temporarily halting traffic on major thoroughfares provides space and safety for people to meet and mingle with neighbors, to frequent local businesses and to partake in healthy physical activity.
It’s also designed to give people “an opportunity to rethink our streets as public space,” organizers say.
The event on Franklin Avenue will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The street closure will stretch from Portland Avenue in the Phillips neighborhood to 28th Avenue S. in the Seward neighborhood. Activities include a “pop-up protected bikeway,” music, a food truck zone, a variety of booths, an American Indian Cultural Corridor and an East African street festival.
In years past, booth vendors ranged from local artisans selling handmade wares to local business owners rallying support for the day to nonprofits sharing information about their missions.
“Open Streets Minneapolis” hosted its inaugural event in 2011. This year it’s already hosted events in Northeast, downtown, along Lyndale Avenue and at Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue. Each event reflects that neighborhood’s character, with activities ranging from yoga and CrossFit classes in the street to bicycle poetry to drummers and dancers.
There will be similar events on West Broadway on Sept. 9 and Nicollet Avenue on Sept. 24.