I drive the same streets to work each day. I know this is nothing unusual. Due to some recent construction, however, I’ve had to (begrudgingly) switch from my usual route and take the longer, scenic detour. And I hit every. single. red. light.
More surprisingly though, I wasn’t nearly as annoyed with all the traffic because for once, I was forced to slow down and had a moment to look around. I saw my neighborhood in a whole new light and had no idea there were so many little cool shops and cafes right around the corner. Well luckily, there are better ways to discover the hidden gems in your neighborhood without crawling along, suffering in traffic. In fact, Open Streets Minneapolis Festival wants you to leave your car behind and explore all that your neighborhood has to offer on foot.
Now in its eighth year, the Open Streets Minneapolis Festival isn’t just your standard street festival. Open Streets Minneapolis’ goal is to redefine streets as more than simply a space for cars. They strive to reimagine our roads and create a safe public space where biking, walking, and rolling to parks, restaurants, and shops is easy and comfortable for everyone.
At each Open Streets event, they temporarily close down major thoroughfares to car traffic and open the streets so you can safely explore your neighborhood on foot. Focusing on bringing together community, Open Streets Minneapolis strays from the traditional street festival and instead aims, “to fill the street primarily with businesses and organizations and people who live and work within five blocks of each route.” With this approach, the street festival truly represents and showcases each neighborhood.
Last year more than 100,000 people came out to take part in the free Open Streets Minneapolis events. This year, Open Streets Minneapolis will stop at eight different neighborhoods throughout the summer and already saw an incredible turnout at the Open Streets + Lyndale event this past month. If you missed it, not to worry as the next Open Streets event will be at Lake + Minnehaha on Sunday, July 22nd.
The upcoming Open Streets Lake + Minnehaha will close off the streets E Lake St. from Elliot Ave. to Minnehaha Ave and Minnehaha Ave from Lake St. to E Minnehaha Parkway/Godfrey Parkway. Along this route hundreds of businesses and vendors have already signed up to join in on the festivities. You’ll enjoy live music, family-friendly activities, games, giveaways, delicious food, and hopefully discover some of the amazing local businesses in your community.
Some of the highlights to look forward to at the Open Streets Lake + Minnehaha festival includes the Midtown Phillips Zone which will headline local musicians, food trucks, community resources, and children’s activities. Be sure to also visit All Square who will be hosting their Grand Opening featuring the hip-hop dance group, Shapeshift.
One participating vendor, Solid State Vinyl Records, is particularly excited to be a part of the Open Streets festival. They have teamed up with the Minneapolis craft market to create The Solid State Market which will include over 25 vendors spread along an entire block between 46th and 45th streets. Not only will there be live music from King Colt, Falcon Arrow, and The Drag State but you can also venture inside their brand new bus, the Solid State Vinyl Rockin’ Roller, to peruse and buy vintage vinyl records.
This summer it’s definitely time to ditch the car and the traffic, and head to the Open Streets Minneapolis Festival. This event is the perfect way to get to know your own neighborhood, your community, and perhaps even discover a new favorite haunt.
Open Streets Lake + Minnehaha event is completely free and runs from 11am – 5pm on Sunday, July 22.
After visiting the Lake + Minnehaha neighborhood, the festivities will continue in the Northeast neighborhood on August 5, Franklin neighborhood on August 26, West Broadway on September 15, Nicollet on September 23, and at the University of Minnesota on September 30.