In 2010 Summer Parkways joined Bloomsday, Hoopfest, and Spokefest as the latest and greatest addition to Spokane’s list of events in which we take over the streets for people-powered activity. Spokefest founder Bill Bender was the lead-out, inspiring us with the ciclovia of Bogotá, Colombia, and the growing list of similar activities around the United States in which city streets are closed to all car traffic except local access and people getting around under their own steam are the dominant life force.
Summer Parkways events inspire a special kind of neighborliness. Imagine streets filled with people walking, pushing strollers, holding a toddler by the hand, waiting patiently for an elderly parent who doesn’t move quite as quickly, riding a skateboard or longboard, inline skating, and of course (you were wondering why I hadn’t mentioned this yet), riding bikes. You’re part of Spokane’s biggest block party!
The event routes are designed so you can walk or ride between different parks. This Wednesday, June 20, the Solstice Parkway takes place around Manito and Comstock Parks. The neighborhoods were so enthusiastic about last year’s event this may just become an annual tradition, with other Parkways locations moving around the rest of Spokane’s wonderful park system.
The Park Bench in Manito Park will stay open late. Enterprising young folk will no doubt set up lemonade stands along the route and hold bake sales. Families will put lawn chairs in the front yard so they can sit and watch the people parade pass by.
3 reasons you should check out the event:
- They could really use some volunteer help! It takes quite a few people to make sure the crossing of streets such as 29th can be managed safely for the crowds the event draws and to help answer questions and direct traffic. Use the volunteer sign-up form on the Summer Parkways site. You can put in a shift and still get to ride/walk/roll yourself to enjoy it even more knowing you helped make it happen.
- The event is really something special. If you’re someone who rides for transportation that is often a solo activity; this is your chance to socialize! If you’re all about pounding out the miles in zone 4 or intervals on the trainer, this is your chance to slow down and take it easy in a recovery ride. If you already belong to one of the local groups such as Belles and Baskets, WOW Cycling, Spokane Bicycle Club, or any of the rest you can bring the whole gang along and maybe end up recruiting a new member or two.
- You’ll have a chance to check out the cuteness! We’ll have a Bike Style booth set up and have our usual fun selection of Nuu-Muus/Ruu-Muus, Sheila Moon lace-trimmed knickers and shorts, Sweet Spot Skirts, pretty Po Campo bags, and other clothing and accessories to help you ride in style. We’re still deciding where to set up—Comstock or Manito. Any recommendations? (We usually try to hang out somewhere strategically close to Roast House Coffee and their “Ride the Edge” blend!)
- Have you gone to a Summer Parkways event? Which one?
- What about the event surprised or delighted you and what do you remember most vividly?