First Ever Local Ciclovia: CenCalVia!
With all of the controversy and mixed opinions surrounding opening Fulton Mall up to vehicle traffic, a movement that is the exact opposite is hitting Fresno from across the country for the first time on October 2nd. The “Open Streets” movement is one that encourages opportunities for people to use streets instead of cars, and one of the major activities within the movement is to hold events called “Ciclovias”.
A Ciclovia is when a street that is normally open to vehicle traffic, is temporarily shut down so that people can walk, ride bikes, skateboard, dance, scooter, skate, hover board or just hang out and get to know one another. One of the major community benefits is that business owners along the street where Ciclovias are held, have the chance to meet their potential customers and vice versa – a sort of throw back to the old school business boulevard days!
Events like Ciclovia have helped to unite people of all different backgrounds, races, ages, interests and fitness levels while simultaneously providing economic stimulus to local businesses and fostering a sense of pride within neighborhoods. Pride of ownership and a sense of connection is not only beneficial for individuals – but for the community itself, as these attitudes lead to decreased crime, increased safety and greater property values.
The first ever Ciclovia “CenCalVia” to hit our area will take place on Sunday, October 2nd on Ventura Avenue between First and Cedar from 11am to 3pm. Parents are encouraged to bring their children, and people from all walks of life are welcome. (Children using any wheel equipped device need to be wearing a helmet when using it.) Dianna’s Studio of Dance will be present, teaching salsa, cumbia and merengue lessons. Zumba Olivia and Friends will be holding a 2 hour Zumba party. Fresno Ideaworks will demonstrate hoola hooping tricks while hover boarding and teach the public some of their skills. Fresno Bike Polo and Fresno PedalJunkies will demonstrate a bike polo match. Rogue Festival performers, giant Jenga and giant Connect Four, live music and free bicycle repairs are all additional great reasons to attend this exciting, innovative event.
CenCalVia is being put on thanks to a lot of hard work from numerous volunteers and with the generous support of Fresno County Bicycle Coalition, Cultiva La Salud, the Central Valley Community Foundation, and Bici Projects, the City of Fresno District 5, the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the California Endowment, the Fresno Cycling Club and Fiesta Auto Insurance. 100% of the businesses along the path for the event are participating, and numerous non-profits and community organizations will also be present and manning booths to share information and resources with guests.
This event sounds like such a positive way to bring people together, and sounds so very FresYES don’t you think? I am in love with this concept, and hope October 2nd’s event is one of many to come!
For more details on the event, including how to volunteer, become a sponsor or who to contact with questions, visit the following pages:
Zumba image used with permission from: Army Medicine