Friday, January 23, 2009

Ciclovia in Clearwater

Clearwater will close a two-mile stretch of Cleveland Street to motorized traffic Sunday, March 1 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a multicultural street festival called Sunday Ciclovía (see-cloh-VEE-uh), Spanish for “bike path.”

Organizers are seeking volunteers for the car-free event which promotes biking, walking and other healthy activities.

The event route extends from Clearwater Harbor to Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. Food vendors, activities for kids, bicycle and running organizations, and exhibitors representing public service, fitness and green living organizations will line the street. Participants can bike, stroll, skate, or take part in exercise, sports and dance classes.

“Initially, Sunday Ciclovía was proposed as a community-building event for downtown’s East Gateway neighborhood,” said Tammy Vrana, an event coordinator.

“The scope of the event grew when other downtown groups saw potential in the family-friendly and health-focused street festival to showcase downtown and local businesses.”

Current major sponsors include the Downtown Development Board, Tampa BayCycle, Achieva Credit Union, Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins, and Café Supreme.

Clearwater is following the lead of Bogotá, Columbia, who in 1976 initiated the first Ciclovía. Since then, cities around the globe such as London, Paris, Mexico City, Guadalajara, New York, Miami, Portland and San Francisco have hosted their own car-free events and some hold them weekly.

For more information, go to the city’s website at or call (727) 562-4047.

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