Sunday Streets Photo- Alan Tobey
The inaugural Sunday Streets in 2012 was such a success it’s back this year on Sunday, Oct. 13. Photo: Alan Tobey
The inaugural Sunday Streets in 2012 was such a success it’s back this year on Sunday, Oct. 13. Photo: Alan Tobey

By Eli Wolfe

This weekend, thousands of local residents are expected to leave the car at home, grab friends and family, and walk the city’s beautiful streets for the second Sunday Streets Berkeley.

Also known as Open Streets, Sunday Streets is a day when cars are prohibited from driving on certain roads, opening up space for other activities. On Sunday, Oct. 13, people are invited to treat the Shattuck roadway between Haste and Rose as a giant park: walk, bike, skate, play and greet fellow community members. The space is also open to organizations, businesses, artists and performers who want to mingle with the general public

There are more than 70 Sunday Street events in North America, and many more in cities around the world. Inspired by San Francisco, which has held Sunday Streets for five years, Berkeley held its first Sunday Streets on Oct. 14 last year. The event was widely hailed as a success, with more than 42,000 people taking to the street and local businesses experiencing a 30-50% boost in sales, according to organizers.

This Sunday’s event will have dozens of free performances spanning 17 city blocks, including Acroyoga, pedal powered music, jiu-jitsu and Filipino martial arts, break dancing, capoeira, “Ecstatic dance,”  and twister.

Drop by the Gourmet Ghetto for a block party featuring wine and artisanal snacks along with music by Mad Noise, Mud Fence, the LP’s and Dirty Cello.

Numerous Berkeley groups and organizations will be out in force to showcase their work to the public. Talk to folk from the Sierra Club or stop by to see the special open house at the Magnes Collection.

Sunday Streets is a family-friendly event. Kids can enjoy any number of activities, including face painting and pumpkin decorating, a toddlers’ music jam performance, a street soccer game, a giant puppeteering workshop, and hands-on science activities hosted by UC Berkeley’s Natural History Museums.

The Berkeleyside tent is in the Center Street intersection, on the east side, at the entrance of Downtown Beats, Eats & Brews.

Come say hello and learn more about Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, the Bay Area’s very first ideas festival, which we are producing in downtown Berkeley on Oct. 25-26.

Sunday Streets is supported by the city of Berkeley, Livable Berkeley, the Downtown Berkeley Association, the North Shattuck Association, the office of Mayor Tom Bates, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and the Ecology Center.

Visit Sunday Streets Berkeley for full information on the event.

Berkeley happily abandons sidewalks for Sunday Streets (10.15.12)
Shattuck Avenue goes car-free for 17 blocks on Sunday (10.11.12)
Can car-free Sunday Streets come to Berkeley? (05.11.12)

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