Open Streets Edina: a bonding experience

50th Street closes down for community gathering

On Sept. 23, the city of Edina hosted the third annual Open Streets event. The event, held on 50th Street in downtown Edina, closed off the roads to vehicles and opened them up for pedestrians and activities. The event was a breath of fresh air and fun after torrential downpours had engulfed Edina for many of the preceding days, and it seemed like destiny when the event was on a clear 75 degree day.

The Open Streets on 50th event in Edina became an annual occurrence in 2015 after the first year of the event was an enormous success. Every year, businesses gather at Open Streets to show off and sell interesting food and merchandise, including mittens, dresses, gelato, hula hoops, babysitting services, bowties for dogs, and more!

At the event, a variety of people walked among the booths and enjoyed the resurgence of heat and nice weather. Among the three bounce houses, there were booths for pet toys, the Edina High School robotics and wrestling teams, kids karaoke with Heart’s Performing Arts, remote controlled battlebots and test drives in full-sized electric cars. Local food was being sold by vendors all across the events, and there were more dogs plodding along than you could count. There were funny sights, like a booth detailing how to recover from a spinal injury being placed directly across from a booth promoting a martial arts studio. Speakers pumped out popular hits while children threw the football around in the sun. The event ran for four hours, between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM, and attracted hundreds of visitors.

“I think [Open Streets] is so successful every year because it was organized with the community in mind,” junior Bryn Osborne, an event volunteer, said. “Unlike the Art Fair, which is a lot more profit driven, [Open Streets] is a more community oriented activity. It’s just a fun way for everyone to gather outside and have fun for a few hours.” Osborne also said that she wished the event was a bit longer, as that would give even more people a chance to get out and go to the event rather than whoever could make it in the current four hours.

While there is not yet any formal indication whether the event will continue next year, it’s safe to assume that if it does we can expect a fun community gathering for all ages.