Stay in the Loop

Open Streets will close downtown Minneapolis avenues Sunday

 : July 8, 2016

Six blocks of Washington Avenue North and six blocks of First Avenue North will close Sunday for Open Streets community events in downtown Minneapolis.

Businesses will offer free massages, games and other attractions at downtown’s second annual Open Streets event, a program that closes streets to traffic eight times a year in different neighborhoods across the city to promote community.

Hosted by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, the event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visibility can be a challenge for some downtown businesses, but the downtown Open Streets event allows people to get to know businesses they may typically pass by during their commute, said Alex Tsatsoulis, development and communications director at the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition.

Organizations set to be at the event include Metro Transit, Whole Foods, Peace Coffee, the Timberwolves, the Lynx, Xcel Energy, Red Cow Restaurant & Bar and Life Time Athletic Target Center, which is trying to get in front of potential customers after its remodeling last year.

“A lot of people don’t know that we’re here, even,” said Life Time Events and Sports Manager Emily Mason, noting that the Target Center location is tucked away in the basement.

To get the attention it wants, Life Time will offer free massages, smoothies, yoga, and cardio classes throughout the Open Streets Downtown, a step up from its relatively simple yoga program at last year’s event.

Red Cow, too, will present a beefed-up version of its attraction this year, which will be cosponsored by Indeed Brewing Co. and include a beer trailer, said Director of Finance Michael Giacomini. Members of the restaurant’s loyalty program will participate in a 15-team, two-bracket beanbag toss tournament.

“It gives people an opportunity to come together as a community,” Giacomini said.

A map of the street closures and featured organizations is below.

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