Explore Lyndale: First Open Street of 2016

A view of the 2015 Lyndale Open Streets event, which attracted about 14,000 people. Photo by Bob Dixon

It’s free, dog-friendly, kid-friendly, there’s a variety of entertainment and most anything you might want to eat or drink. It is Open Streets Lyndale, happening this Sunday, June 5 between 22nd and 42nd Streets, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Yoga in the streets at the 2015 Lyndale Open Street. Look forward to dancing in the streets among other activities. Photo by Alex Tsatsoulis.
Yoga at Open Streets Lyndale in 2015. Look forward to dancing in the streets, among other activities. Photos by Bob Dixon

Lyndale is the first of eight Open Streets events planned this summer. Open Streets take place on weekends throughout the summer when busy corridors of the city are closed to motorized traffic and people come out to play. These are City of Minneapolis events, hosted by Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and presented by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. By slowing down the street to human pace, the goal is to give residents the opportunity to “rethink our streets as public spaces.”

While Lyndale will mover slower, it won’t lack for activity. Here’s a preview of what’s in store:

— Listen to music featured in the sixth LynLake Street Festival, 12-8 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Jungle Theater and Fuji Ya Restaurant. Musicians include sloslylove, Warehouse Eyes, Zuluzuluu, Al Church, Birthday Suits, Gramma’s Boyfriend, Sean Anonymous and Brother Ali. There will be bike parking, eight food vendors, and beer from Summit Brewing Company. Tip for beer and the money goes to support Joyce Food Shelf. There is no charge to attend. The festival is a “gift” to residents and patrons of local businesses from the LynLake area businesses, according to John Meegan, the Chair of the LynLake Business Association and tailor at Top Shelf.

— Try mas-wrestling — imagine a seated game of tug-of-war — or try lifting “The Inch,” a dumbbell provided by The Movement Minneapolis, a gym located at Lyndale and 21st Street. Those who successfully stand up with “The Inch” win $100.  The Movement Minneapolis will be located at 36th and Lyndale inside the “wellness zone,” which will also feature programs and services like Hennepin County Child & Teen Check-up and City of Minneapolis Election & Voter Services.

— Watch little kids on bikes do back-flips and other astounding tricks during the Penn Cycle BMX show hosted at 40th Street and Lyndale.

— Learn to skateboard through lessons provided by Golden Valley-based 3rd Lair Skatepark, and City of Skate, a coalition working to design and develop world-class skateparks in the Twin Cities. Find skateboarding lessons between 33rd and 34th Streets, among other activities for kids. Other highlights of the “kids zone” will include the Minneapolis Toy Library and Simple Joy Arts: Henna & Face Painting.

— Ride in the bike rodeo, an event aimed at helping kids learn about traffic safety, and practice bicycling skills like signaling and starting effectively, presented by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. The bike rodeo will be at 41st and Lyndale.

— Pet the potbellied pigs, alpacas, chickens and other animals from Walton’s Hollow. The farm is bringing a petting zoo featuring 45 animals to the parking lot of Bethlehem Lutheran Church at Lyndale and 41st Street. There will also be live music performed by What’s Next and Miss Myra and the Moonshiners. Water, restrooms and an area for nursing mothers will be available in the Bethlehem parking lot. Tangletown Bike Shop will be on site providing simple repairs. The church plans to sell hot dogs and hamburgers. Proceeds will go to support Zoom House, an apartment building for families struggling with homelessness. All activities at Bethlehem are free. Wendy Osman, Director of Volunteer and New Member Ministry at Bethlehem, said she’s looking forward to “making connections to the community.”

 Open Streets events are better experienced than described. Come join the fun on Sunday and get to know the people, businesses and organizations that make Lyndale much more than an expanse of concrete.