Viva! Streets Austin Festival: Encouraging Austinites to have fun while beingactive
Those who frequent West Sixth Street on Friday and Saturday nights are probably used to seeing part of the road completely blocked off to automobiles so people can safely roam amongst themselves.
Viva! Streets Austin, a new free festival set for this Sunday, plans to take that idea and spice it up a bit.
On May 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., two miles of Sixth Street — starting at Brazos St. and ending at Robert Martinez Jr. — will be completely closed off to motor vehicles and instead, open for biking, rollerblading, skateboarding and a slew of other activities that encourage Austinites to be active.
Viva! Streets was inspired by a tradition in Colombia called, Ciclovía. During each Sunday or on various holidays, the main streets of Colombia would be closed off to automobiles and would be open primarily for bicyclists, runners, skaters.
The tradition has exploded internationally, from Australia to New Zealand to Canada to here in the United States. El Paso and San Antonio have previously held similar events, but this year will be Austin’s first.
The festival will feature two different zones of activities: in the green zone near Brazos, attendees can enjoy Zumba, yoga and a cooking demo/exercise sponsored by various organizations. Over at the blue zone, Viva! Streets will also be hosting exercise classes, an opening ceremony and various live music events.
Festival go-ers are encouraged to bring their dogs, ride their bikes, tango and simply enjoy the streets. According to their website, the festival’s mission is to “transform a street into public space and encourage active living through recreation, fitness activities, and healthful food options.”
And for those interested in exploring the various “healthful food options,” be sure to check out the healthy food cooking demos as well as free samples from various vendors throughout the street.
For more details about Viva! Streets Austin, take a look at their event schedule.