Open Streets OKC celebrates community and health on Sunday 

click to enlarge Emma Kratochwill poses for a photo near SW 29th Street in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Emma Kratochwill poses for a photo near SW 29th Street in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015.

Open Streets OKC is back, and this time, it’s heading south.

“Our goal is to gain more ground for reclaiming the streets for an active lifestyle,” said Emma Dean Kratochwill, Southwest 29th Business Improvement District Association executive director.

Also known as La 29, the local nonprofit group promotes growth and improvement for the business corridor along SW 29th Street and surrounding community from S. May Avenue to S. Shields Boulevard.

The first time Open Streets OKC took over a section of town, it was the Uptown 23rd District and more than 20,000 people showed up.

This time, Open Streets is noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at S. Walker Avenue between SW Grand Boulevard and SW 29th Street and S. Robinson Avenue between SW 29th and SW 23rd streets.

Admission is free.

Health professionals and organizations will offer healthy lifestyle tips, and people can try out a variety of classes and activities.

Although 18 food trucks will be on hand, organizers hope people also will try area restaurants, many of which are small, family-owned eateries that serve native cuisines. Community members’ countries of origin include Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States.

“We think it’s important for both sides of the river to come together and see what’s great about each other,” Kratochwill said.

While Open Streets gatherings have a festive, block-party vibe, its purpose runs deeper.

When more residents choose active transportation like walking or biking, it increases the push for accessible communities, which makes for healthier Oklahomans. This also provides a boost in foot traffic for local businesses and greater participation in shaping their communities, according to OpenStreetsOKC.com.

Sunday’s event will include a crafts area for kids. Harold Hamm Diabetes Center will provide water bottles and offer motivational messages for walking.

The Greater OKC Pickleball Club will play pickleball, a hybrid of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.

Circle of Care will bring milk bottle carnival games, and Latino Community Development Agency will provide jump ropes, Frisbees and hula-hoops for kids and adults along with football for adults. OU Medicine will conduct free health screenings.

Open Streets OKC is a project of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s Wellness Now Coalition, which organizes events twice a year with partner organizations like Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma, YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City and Association of Central Oklahoma Governments.

Print headline: Neighborly love, Open Streets OKC celebrates community and health on Sunday.

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