The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday March 30th

Carrboro festival draws local businesses

Festival sponsors will provide rock-climbing and other activities.

People are only allowed to use the street for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing and socializing for the Carrboro Open Streets festival, which will be held from noon to 4 p.m.

The Carrboro Bicycle Coalition started Carrboro Open Streets in 2013.

“Three years ago, we approached the town with a plan,” said Eric Allman, chairman of the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition. “We’ve worked with the town government and local nonprofits and businesses to initiate it.”

Allman said the event is a modified version of similar open streets events in Los Angeles.

“It’s been great, and it’s been growing,” he said. “There will be a lot of new, interesting things.”

Allman said around 25 businesses and nonprofits are donors for the event. These businesses will be hosting activities ranging from rock climbing to acupuncture.

Elisabeth Wharton, the marketing manager for miraclefeet, said she thought being involved would be a good way to join the community.

Miraclefeet, a company that provides organizational, technical and financial support to clinics to provide treatment to children born with clubfoot in developing countries, is one of the several donors. This will be the company’s first year participating in Open Streets.

“I think this event is the perfect bridge since it’s about being active,” Wharton said. “Essentially, miraclefeet provides kids with a chance to lead active lives.”

She said miraclefeet will have an information table and will also be hosting hopscotch at the event.

DeWana Anderson, a veterinarian and co-owner of The Animal Hospital in Carrboro, said she is a proud sponsor of Open Streets.

“Events like Carrboro Open Streets make people more aware of how walkable Carrboro is, as well as encourage energy conservation and protection of our small community’s personality,” Anderson said.

She said the animal hospital was designated a bicycle- friendly business by the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition and that she encourages her staff and clients to walk or bike to the office.

While the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition started Open Streets, the Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department is now in charge of the event.

“The main purpose was to re-create the streets and encourage community building,” said Galen Poythress, recreation specialist for the town of Carrboro. “It’s supposed to be an active event, all to bring the community together.”

Poythress said the money is not what’s important about the sponsors, but rather that they are contributing to the health of the community.

“They, as community businesses, are providing an activity that is healthy and fun to participate in,” he said.

Allman said Weaver Street will be closed at 11 a.m. for vendors to set up and will stay closed until 5 p.m. for cleanup.

“There have been times when we had to have conversations with businesses to accommodate their needs,” he said. “We encourage folks to use the businesses that are on Weaver Street, and we’ll hopefully bring them more business in the long run.”


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