It’s not often that you can safely walk, run, bicycle, skip, dance or skate leisurely down the middle of one of the busiest thoroughfares in the heart of Wichita.

Thanks to the Open Streets Project, a nationwide initiative to increase social engagement and cultural identity, you can do any of those activities and more during the annual Open Streets ICT events. In typical years, there is a spring event in North Wichita’s Nomar Market, with a pedestrian-friendly 1-mile stretch from Broadway Avenue to Woodland Park, and a fall event along Douglas Avenue, when a 4.1-mile stretch from College Hill (Bluff St.) to the Historic Delano District (Glenn St.) is closed to traffic.

The spring 2021 gathering was canceled but organizers are planning the free Open Streets ICT 2021 fall event for noon to 5 p.m., Sept. 19. The Open Streets program was started to promote physical activity and reduce emissions. What organizers found is that when the streets shut down and people get out in family and friend groups, they are more likely to explore their community in new ways.

Open Streets ICT 2019 Near Century II

Participants can travel whichever way they want from east to west, taking note that some roads allow for northbound and southbound traffic. Bring your bicycle, strap on some skates, take the free Q-line (bikes allowed but no pets) or walk the avenue. There will be fun physical activities, music, dancing, yoga, new art on display and much more.

Expect to find five activity hubs along the 4.1-mile stretch of road closures, offering excitement for all ages. You’re encouraged to get active, socialize and to stop at the local businesses, restaurants, street vendors and attractions along the route in the Douglas Design District, Downtown Wichita, Old Town District and Historic Delano District.

For more events happening in Wichita, check out our calendar of events.