Arts & Entertainment

Open Streets Montclair Draws a Great Response from Local Residents

Credits: Cindy C. A. Pereira
Credits: Cindy C. A. Pereira
Credits: Cindy C. A. Pereira

MONTCLAIR, NJ - On Sunday there was room to bike, walk and explore Montclair Center while promoting a healthy lifestyle. With activities for the entire family, residents had a chance to explore the many resources that Montclair has to offer, while also having fun.

Open Streets Montclair, in partnership with Bike&Walk Montclair, the Montclair Center BID, Montclair Township and the Montclair Police Department Traffic Bureau, facilitated this community event in which families were walking, biking, dancing to live music, and hula hooping from South Park, to Church Street and Glenridge Avenue.

The Open Streets movement has been sweeping the world by storm since 2010. An annual event designed to create positive perceptions of the community and create a car-free space for local-area residents to get out of their homes and enjoy the community.

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Two snow-white kitty cats lured those passing by with their bright eyes. Angela Cant said, “We are representing Montclair Animal Shelter and promoting adoptions. We also take dogs or cats and give them microchips for $20 which is handy if they get lost or lose their collar.”

Skylands, an animal sanctuary that rescues animals from slaughter from the meat and dairy industry, were on Church Street for the first time, at the invitation of Mondo Vegan Restaurant. Theresa said, “We are open for tours all weekend. We do screenings and have events throughout the winter. Today we are inviting people to visit us, and also promoting and selling some merchandise.”

In addition to communities in countries such as Columbia, large cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Los Angeles have also participated in the movement for several years. Many smaller communities like Berkeley, Lexington and now Montclair have come on board with the Open Streets movement. There are currently over 120 Open Streets communities participating in North America.

Tim Gysin a singer, piano and guitar player, performed Billy Joel hits at Montclair Center Stage to the delight of families who danced, played with hula-hoops or simply stood smiling at the talented performer.

To cap-off the evening, residents were invited to watch the supermoon lunar eclipse on the top levels of the Bay Street, South Fullerton and Crescent parking decks until 11p.m.

A local couple, John Paxton and Ms. Castillo, came out to brunch not expecting to find such a grand production. Paxton said, “We are here all the time. What a happy happenstance to find this here today.”


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Natalie Heard Hackett contributed to this article.

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