Open Streets on State Street

October 1, 2011 (RELEASE)

Click here to see PHOTOS by ABC7 Web Producer Melanie Ragland

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), in partnership with Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans), will transform a seven-block stretch of State Street, from Lake to Van Buren, into the ultimate urban playground for all ages, Saturday, October 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The first-ever Open Streets on State Street will create a safe public space in a car-free setting where communities can connect, families and friends can exercise and play, and businesses can engage with the public. Open Streets, presented by the Illinois Center for Broadcasting, is modeled after similar car-free events held in cities around the world from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, to Bogota, Colombia, which holds its iconic "Ciclovia" event every Sunday of the year.

See a map of Open Streets on State Street.

    A sampling of the recreational programming being offered to the public, free of charge, at Open Streets on State Street includes:
  • Mobile skate park: While most public places prohibit skateboarding, Open Streets encourages people of all ages and ability levels to take a lesson from Character Skateboards and the Chicago Youth Skateboarding Project and watch pros skate on this street course that includes ramps, a half pipe.
  • Imagination Playground: Children, ages 3 and older, can explore this award-winning, 500-square-foot movable playground that includes blocks, crates, carts, sand and water. This innovative playground encourages children and their families to pursue healthy, safe, and educational play.
  • Scavenger hunt: discover the "hidden gems" of State Street and learn about the Loop's history and architecture through this urban scavenger hunt. Volunteers will be on hand to assist and award a range of prizes for winners.
  • Break-dancing demos: Chicago's most acclaimed break-dancing crew, Brickheadz, will showcase some spinning, hopping, and sliding on hands, heads, shoulders and elbows. The crew will also be available for lessons for aspiring B-boys and B-girls.
  • Yoga classes: CorePower instructors will be on hand to lead impromptu yoga classes.
  • Dunking booth: Settle the score the old-fashioned way: by sending someone splashing into 500 gallons of water.

"We are constantly looking for new and creative ways to draw people into the Loop through unique programming and partnerships," stated CLA Executive Director Ty Tabing. "We are thrilled to partner with Active Trans on Open Streets, and look forward to hosting Chicagoans on one of Chicago's most famous streets."

Open Streets on State Street is the culminating celebration of the summer-long "GO DO GOOD" campaign, launched by Chicago Loop Alliance and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago in May. The campaign has become a city-wide movement inspiring the public to "do good" in tandem with artist Kay Rosen's six-story GO DO GOOD mural on State Street, commissioned by CLA for Art Loop 2011. The public is encouraged to stop by United Way's booth at Open Streets to learn about opportunities to do good in one's community.

"Imagine State Street with joggers instead of taxi cabs and skaters instead of buses and an impromptu Yoga class instead of a traffic jam," said Active Trans Open Streets Manager Julia Kim. "We're encouraging people to ride bikes, take a stroll, and embrace the dramatic beauty of Chicago. Open Streets brings communities together to have fun and lead active lifestyles."

There is no admission charge for Open Streets on State Street. In addition, Chicago Loop Alliance member businesses in the area will offer special discount offers in conjunction with the event. For more information, please visit or call (312) 782-9160.

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