At last month’s kickoff OpenStreetPGH event, 15,000 Pittsburghers came ready to play on the 3.5-mile stretch of Penn Avenue and Butler Street that was closed to cars and open for fun. The city was jumping with people cycling, dancing, running, hula hooping and unicycling.
And this Sunday, June 28, OpenStreetsPGH returns from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“What separates Open Streets from other events is the choose-your-own- adventure aspect of it,” says Mike Carroll, event manager of BikePGH and co-chair of Open Streets.”You can go for a run, go to brunch, learn to salsa dance,” he says. “But we encourage people to try something new. If you do a lot of yoga, perhaps try a BootCamp class.”
Check the program schedule for times on a walking tour with the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks, a Bike the Burgh Cycling Tour, a Hike it Baby walk for parents and young kids and training runs with Steel City Road Runners. Four event hubs host ballroom dance, BootCamp, kung fu, yoga and Zumba classes. You can play tennis or soccer. There’s even snowboarding for kids and roller disco led by the Steel City Roller Derby.
This month, the businesses along the route are getting in on the gig. Just a few of the offerings: Franktuary serves up an early brunch, Pittsburgh Winery gives away free samples, LUXE Creative hosts an open house with a DJ, plus there’s a food truck roundup and lots of sidewalk sales.
“We encourage everyone to bring a bag with them,” says Carroll. “We don’t want people to forget to check out these local, independent businesses.”
And if you ever wanted to wear a badge—or at least be deputized to ring a cowbell and wear a silly hat—organizers are looking for 35 volunteers to be Intersection Sheriffs. Along the route, 12 intersections remain open for cars to cross.
“We’ll have a policeman at every intersection, but volunteers are key to ensuring that all of our happy participants remain safe,” says Eve Picker, one of the co-chairs of OpenStreetsPGH.
“Each volunteer will need to report at 7 a.m. and stay until noon,” she says. “And each will receive two free tickets to a ball game for their help, a free OpenStreetsPGH t-shirt, snacks, water—and the promise of a great time.” To volunteer, sign up here.
Besides Carroll and Picker, other folks and organizations who helped make this possible are the City of Pittsburgh, BikePGH, Red House Communications, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Kim O’Dell.
The third OpenStreetsPGH event takes place on July 26.