Santa Barbara Open Streets organizers welcomed the community to a kickoff mixer last Wednesday, at Municipal Winemakers, to build momentum for the first-ever SB Open Streets event to be held on Nov. 2nd from 10 am – 4 pm. Today, organizers launch the final budget fundraising push for the remaining $5,000 for their first annual SB Open Streets ¡Calles Vivas! through an Indiegogo campaign that ends Monday, Oct. 7th.
SB Open Streets will close Cabrillo Blvd. (from State Street to Los Patos Way near the Andree Clark Bird Refuge) and part of the Funk Zone to motorized traffic for the day, bringing the streets alive with all forms of people-powered movement to promote better public health and sustainable transportation.
Help organizers spread the word about the campaign by visiting www.sbopenstreets.org and clicking on the Indiegogo campaign link, or going directly to http://igg.me/at/sbopenstreets. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the first-ever SB Open Streets ¡Calles Vivas! event. Any additional funds raised beyond this will allow us to immediately dive into planning the next SB Open Streets initiative! No donation is too small and everything helps. Donations are 100% tax deductible and go to COAST, The Coalition for Sustainable Transportation, the Santa Barbara nonprofit presenting SB Open Streets.
The SB Open Streets kickoff mixer last Wednesday started with an impromptu performance by Dr. Samuel De Palma who surprised the crowd with a powerful Italian opera rendition of ‘Climb Every Mountain’, appropriate for the high moment in time for SB Open Streets’ launch party, followed by an enthusiastic talk by Mayor Helene Schneider, presentations by SB Open Streets organizers and several videos showcasing the popular Open Streets concept to attendees. A barbershop quartet by the name of Walk and Roll performed the ‘soundtrack’ to the SB Open Streets PSA (which world-premiered at the mixer) and engaged the room with a live taste of the diverse activities set for Nov. 2nd.
“It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point”, said Eva Inbar, Director of COAST and one of the lead organizers for the event, “It’s exciting to see so many people at the launch party, including activity providers, volunteers, sponsors, musicians, artists and performers that will all bring nearly 2.5 miles of streets alive. In August, organizers reached a critical milestone, receiving approval for the event permit. Key to the City’s approval of the event was insuring that all parking lots remain open, that the public is well informed about the street closure and that traffic control at the event be well organized and well staffed. Kent Epperson, Director or Traffic Solutions who has helped with some of the event logistics and will help market the event explained that “approximately 15 police officers will be paid to manage the traffic at the event. We will also have a number of volunteers helping the police in managing traffic and circulation at the event.”
“What do you mean by people-powered movement?”
Robin Elander, SB Open Streets Coordinator, often answers that question with a smile – “There are so many options and ways to enjoy the SB Open Streets route. Come walk the beachfront area; partake in one or several of the over 20 free fitness classes offered in the middle of the street; take a dance class, hop on your bike, blades or board and meander through the diverse array of activities you can try.” Elander also goes on to explain that anyone can offer up a fun physical activity for free to the public, including individuals, organizations or businesses. “We are programming the streets and the parks in the surrounding areas with free dance, yoga, zumba and other classes, music performances, art displays and healthy activities for people of all ages, abilities and cultures.”
With all that exercise people we be working up an appetite. In addition to the assortment of great restaurants along the beachfront, there will be a community picnic area to gather and grab some healthy eats between activities…an area to meet old and new friends alike.
SB Open Streets is also looking for volunteers to help engage area businesses, organizations and other volunteers and promote SB Open Streets before the activity provider application deadline of Sept. 15th. Anyone can join the fun organizing team for a two-hour Open Streets “walk-and-talk-a-thon” to promote SB Open Streets on State Street, the Funk Zone, Cabrillo Blvd and beyond. You will be high-fived after each business you talk to and have the satisfaction of knowing you helped bring our streets come alive on Nov. 2nd!
To sign up as an activity or service provider, volunteer or sponsor, and learn more about this exciting celebration to promote better public health and sustainable transportation, email Robin Elander at RobinSBOpenStreets@gmail.com or visit our Volunteer webpage (http://www.sbopenstreets.org/volunteer). Check out website to join our next planning meeting.
Learn more at http://www.SBOpenStreets.org.
Check out this video to learn more about the unique Open Streets concept:
Ciclovia in Bogota: the Originators of the Open Streets Concept