The Open Streets Festival in Windsor, July 17, 2014. (Photo provided with permission by Steven Kriemadis)The Open Streets Festival in Windsor, July 17, 2014. (Photo provided with permission by Steven Kriemadis)

Open Streets Festival Returns Sunday

The only thing better than taking part in circus school, playing the piano, or building a Jenga tower is doing it in the street.

Windsor is hosting its third "Open Streets Festival" Sunday, September 17.

An 8 km stretch from Sandwich St. to Drouillard Rd. will shut down at 10am so pedestrians can take part in activities.

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Project Manager Michael Chantler says even though some major roads will be closed to vehicular traffic, he is certain the festival will not disrupt cross town traffic.

"You can still get across the road -- you can't be on the road because vehicles and pedestrians don't mix very well in the middle of the street," he says. "However, if you need to get across the road, we have 11 signalized intersections that are being monitored by crossing guards, Windsor police constables, and auxiliary officers."

Intersections, where traffic will be allowed to cross the route, are:

* Huron Church Rd. at University Ave. W

* Crawford Ave. at University Ave. W

* Bruce Ave. at University Ave. W

* Victoria Ave. at University Ave. W

* Pelissier St. at University Ave. W

* McDougall St. at University Ave. E

* Glengarry Ave. at University Ave. E

* Parent Ave. at Wyandotte St. E

* Gladstone Ave. at Wyandotte St. E

* Lincoln Rd. at Wyandotte St. E

* Walker Rd at Wyandotte St. E

There are nine hubs this year including the University Hub where participants can take a picture with a life-sized cutout of Pope Francis. At the Ford City Hub, there is a rib cook off. The public piano is in the Food Hub, and at the Downtown Hub, you can have your handwriting analyzed by an expert.

The Ontario 150 Hub is new. It will feature multi-cultural activities including dance and musical performances, 3D printing and face painting.

There is a map of all the activities on the City of Windsor's website.

There's an economic spinoff for local businesses too.

"I tell ya if I had a business along that road I'd have my doors wide-open and some face painting or sidewalk chalk or bubbles for the kids," says Chantler. "People are out there, and they're going to stop and get something to eat. They'll wander into the restaurants and maybe sit on some of the patios along the way."

Chantler says while the response from the community for last year's events was strong, even more, volunteers are stepping up for this year's festival.

"We're well over 100 participants from the activity stand point," he says. "Those are 100 that have registered with me. I may have an organization where they're bringing one or two other organizations with them. So, when all is said and done, I think we'll probably be around 150 what we call activity partners."

The festival ends at 5pm when streets will reopen to vehicles.

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