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Takin’ It To The Streets…Missoula Style

By RYAN NEWHOUSE

Back for its second year, Sunday Streets Missoula will kindly take over N. Higgins Avenue this Sunday (June 5) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and open it to people-powered, family-friendly activities. Launched last September, Sunday Streets Missoula quickly garnered a lot of attention, and a lot of participation. Nearly 3,500 people crowded, walked, biked, hopped and danced in the car-free streets. Businesses boomed and the crowds asked for more, which they will get this Sunday and again on September 11, 2011.

Modeled after the renowned “Ciclovia” of Bogotá, Colombia (where residents enjoy 72 miles of open streets every Sunday), Sunday Streets Missoula is a culmination of efforts by Missoula In Motion, the Downtown Business Improvement District of Missoula and Missoula Parks and Recreation.

In true “Ciclovia” fashion (meaning “bike path”), Sunday Streets Missoula will feature a 1.6-mile car-free route to be enjoyed via bicycle, foot or any other preferred human-powered mode of transport.

Throughout the day, over 60 businesses and organizations will be presenting or hosting family-friendly activities. An impromptu stage will be set by the XXX’s on the north end of Higgins Avenue, where at noon Mayor John Engen will present the “Neighbor Day Proclamation and Celebration.”

Most of the events will be ongoing throughout the day, but a few key events are scheduled. The events you can expect to find throughout the day include a bicycle obstacle course, fitness classes, gymnastics/tumbling, kids games, crafts and activities, balloons, Western Montana Clinic health screenings, putting green, creating sculptures from found objects, Big Sky Bouncers’ bounce house, parachute games, bike maintenance station, sidewalk chalk, face painting, and making musical instruments with KBGA.

You’ll also find bicycle helmet sales, chair massages, bear education and wildlife awareness, baseball activities, recycling games, recycled art, miniature golf, REI’s bike repair station, animal training, earring creation, making felt birds, making prayer flags, skateboarding with obstacles, dancing in the streets, a record swap, inflatable slide, pottery wheel, tours of the historic Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, folf course, climbing wall, and Dasani blue bike check-outs.

The schedule of other events to be featured at Sunday Streets Missoula is currently:

  • 10:00am – Missoulians on Bicycles, Inc. (MOBI) “Geezer” Ride (departs from the XXX’s)
  • 10:30am - Urban Golf tees off at Betty’s Divine (521 S. Higgins)
  • 10:30am - Djebe Bara:  African dance and drum lessons (Stage)
  • 11:00am - Tae Kwon Do demonstration and classes (Stage)
  • 11:30am - Spinning class (Main & Higgins)
  • 12 (noon) – Neighbor Day Proclamation and Celebration (Stage)
  • 12-2:00pm - Kids’ dance party at Blackbird Kids Shop (525 S. Higgins)
  • 12:30pm – Bike Walk Alliance for Missoula (BWAM) People Powered Parade (departs from the X’s and will follow the “Ciclovia” route)
  • 12:30pm - Spinning class (Main & Higgins)
  • 1:00pm - Herb walk; meet at Meadowsweet Herbs (180 S. 3rd St. W.)
  • 1:00pm - Tae Kwon Do demonstration and classes (Stage)
  • 2:00pm - Make your own Aromatherapy bath salts at Meadowsweet Herbs (180 S. 3rd St. W.)
  • 2:30pm - Djebe Bara:  African dance and drum lessons (Stage)

For late-breaking announcements, you can find and follow Sunday Streets Missoula on Facebook. If you have questions about the event or would like to volunteer there for a couple hours in exchange for an awesome t-shirt, contact Ben Weiss at Missoula In Motion, (406) 258-4961 or bweiss@co.missoula.mt.us.

Follow Ryan Newhouse’s blogs at makeitmissoula.com.

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