[Windsor Star – Craig Pearson] The second instalment of Open Streets Windsor has lots of new stuff to offer, including a university hub, a non-denominational candle-lighting, and a marijuana-fuelled yoga session.
The largest free recreation program in the city’s history promises something for everyone on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Streets will close to vehicles for the multi-event street party, stretching from Sandwich Towne along University Avenue, Aylmer Avenue, and Wyandotte Street to Ford City on Drouillard Road.
Participants are welcome to walk, roll, ride or just stay in one place and enjoy everything from fitness to art activities.
“It’s for people of all ages and it’s free,” organizer Michael Cooke said Wednesday about the event which attracted an estimated 10,000 people for its debut in July. “And it really gives people a chance to explore city streets in a new and different way.
“It’s kind of fun when you think this is usually just a space reserved for cars at 50 kilometres an hour. And now people get to explore the space with family and friends and take part in activities and appreciate the parks and streetscapes along the way.”
The second version of Open Streets Windsor will offer more than 120 activities, compared to about 100 the first time around.
The University of Windsor will chip in an Open Streets “hub” this time, bringing the total number of activity centres along the eight-kilometre route to nine.
Another new offering is a greater connection through social media, such as a Snapchat feature for people who want to share their Open Streets experience, and a live map through the City of Windsor website that shows what’s going on in real time.
Also new for the Open Streets sequel is a non-denominational candle-lighting hosted by All Saints Church in Charles Clarke Square at noon. Plus, Higher Limits cannabis lounge will host a marijuana get-together at 9 a.m., followed by a sidewalk yoga session taught by Elyse Carvalho outside the Ouellette Avenue establishment from 9:45 to 11:15 a.m.
“We knew we wanted to be part of Open Streets because it’s such a great event, and we couldn’t think of anything better than doing yoga,” Higher Limits co-owner Jon Liedtke said. “So we’re opening our doors at 9 a.m. Sunday morning, which is earlier than we have ever opened our doors. It’s $5 at the door. People can consume their cannabis on site and we’ll provide free rentals for bongs and pipes and vaporizers and video games, and then we’ll go outside for yoga.
“We want to respect the family-friendly nature of Open Streets. Even though it’s perfectly legal for our patrons (with medical marijuana licences) to consume their cannabis on the streets, we’re asking our patrons not to. We want Open Streets to be fun for everyone.”
More than 100 cities across North America have joined the Open Streets movement, closing roads to motorists and encouraging participants to walk, cycle, dance, play and socialize.
For more information on Open Streets Windsor call 311 — which will open Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — or visit Citywindsor.ca.