Cyclo.Via Street Festival: Family Fun in Downtown Boone!

Local non-profit Boone Area Cyclists will host Boone’s first ever Cyclo.Via! street festival on Sunday June 26th from 10 am to 3 pm. The FREE event will allow bicyclists, pedestrians and all other non-motorized traffic to enjoy car-free, safe streets for five hours.

Boone Cyclovia

The idea for Ciclovia – a spanish term meaning “bike path” – originated in Bogota, Columbia in the 1970’s where currently 70 miles of roadway are closed down every Sunday and holiday for recreation. Recently, the idea has spread around the world with similar events in Australia, Paris, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and, closer to home, Roanoke, VA. The state of Kentucky holds the only statewide Ciclovia.

The idea got started in Boone when author and Boone Area Cyclist Board Member, Roni Ellis shared the idea at a February meeting of the group’s Advocacy Committee. “We just immediately knew this was right for our community and that we needed to do everything we could to make it happen in 2011”, says Board Member Bing Oliver. “We set a date and got to work right away.”

“I was immediately captured by the uniqueness, beauty and simplicity of the idea.” Says Oliver. “Basically the initial idea was – close down some streets and let people play. Although we have kept the simplicity of that idea, we have also added in numerous fun, educational and active components.”

Cyclo.Via! will link the university and the town taking place on Rivers Street from Stadium Drive to Depot Street. There it will turn right on Depot and then left on Howard Street, ending at Waters Street. The course will be blocked off and managed by Boone Town Police providing streets so safe that families will feel safe with their small children participating.

Activities will include:

  • a bicycle parade for kids
  • a tricycle race
  • booths with vendors providing healthy and tasty foods
  • educational booths about healthy and active lifestyles.
  • Partner, Be Active North Carolina, will have recreational gear such as hula hoops and frisbees to check out.
  • Local bicycle shops will have rental bikes to try and will also provide instant tune ups for that bike that’s buried in the basement!
  • A special area, called Recrovia, will host free scheduled outdoor aerobics, Zumba, yoga and other classes.
  • Local gymnastics, parkour, bicycle and skateboard groups will demonstrate their skills.
  • Two road rides of 30 and 50 mile lengths for the hardcore road cyclist will start at 9 am before the event and begin and end at the corner of Depot and Howard Streets so that families can re-connect at Cyclo.Via.

“There will be tons of planned stuff to do, but the main activity is to make your own fun”, Oliver emphasized. “Take a family walk in the street, walk your dog, go running, play catch, roller skate, juggle, unicycle. Do what you enjoy. We want the ‘grown-ups’ to relive moments of fun and freedom they once enjoyed in cul-de-sacs and neighborhood streets on long summer days and share the experience with their kids. I rediscovered exercise for fun in road cycling here in Boone. We hope that one of the take-aways will be that people will be sparked with ideas about how to get moving together in ways that are just fun!”

Cyclo.Via Boone is presented as a partnership of The Town of Boone, Boone Tourism and Development Authority, and Appalachian State University.

For more information please visit the event page on Facebook – Boone Cyclovia and the website at cycloviaboone.org.

Other interesting information about the concept of ciclovia can be found at the following links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciclov%C3%ADa

http://www.streetfilms.org/ciclovia/

http://streetswiki.wikispaces.com/Ciclovia

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/highwayhistory/road/s05.cfm.