drumline performers chatting as they prepare for street festival performance

Open Streets Minneapolis, the highly-anticipated event series that closes city streets to motor vehicle traffic, will be on the West Bank this Sunday, August 20, 2023. Cedar Avenue from Washington Avenue to 6th Street South, as well as part of Riverside Avenue, will be closed to car traffic from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Minneapolis residents to enjoy neighborhood businesses and safe biking, walking and rolling.

Over 175 local organizations have registered to be a part of the route, offering a wide range of entertainment. Attendees can plan on family-friendly fun at a petting zoo, cultural exhibits from Somali American artists and historians, entertainment on four community-organized stages, shopping from local artists and makers, and a variety of food and drink at neighborhood favorites including The Wienery and The Red Sea Restaurant.

The free event series, a hallmark of summer for many Minneapolis residents, highlights the diversity of each neighborhood in which it is hosted. It also gives attendees a glimpse of streets as public spaces and the vibrancy of pedestrian-friendly boulevards. 

Unique to this event in the series is the debut of “Concrete River: A History of I-94 in Cedar-Riverside”, a traveling exhibition presented by Our Streets Minneapolis, the transportation advocacy nonprofit that works with the City of Minneapolis to host Open Streets Minneapolis each year. The exhibit, done in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Heritage Studies & Public History program, is a compilation of months of research on the history of displacement due to the construction of highways I-94 and I-35, the University of Minnesota’s West Bank expansion, and federally-sponsored Urban Renewal efforts.

“Open Streets Minneapolis is a great example of what’s possible in our city,” says Ember Rasmussen, Community Development & Events Manager at Our Streets Minneapolis. “While they are incredibly fun, these events also support the city’s stated goals in the Transportation Action Plan by giving people the opportunity to envision Minneapolis streets in a different way.”

The Open Streets Minneapolis event line-up is different each year. Our Streets Minneapolis works with the City of Minneapolis to select dates and routes. Over the last two years, they have worked to prioritize new event corridors and use an equity lens to select corridors from a range of geographic areas across the city.

The event is made possible through sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Open Street Minneapolis 2023 is presented by the Minneapolis Foundation. If you would like to support Open Streets Minneapolis, please visit www.openstreetsmpls.org/donate.

About Open Streets Minneapolis:

Since 2011, Open Streets Minneapolis has transformed city streets into fun, car-free community celebrations. Open Streets Minneapolis is organized by Our Streets Minneapolis and is a program of the City of Minneapolis, supported by sponsors and community partners. www.openstreetsmpls.org.

About Our Streets Minneapolis:

Our Streets Minneapolis works to put people first by transforming transportation and infrastructure in the Twin Cities and at the state level. We do this by making our streets places where people can easily and comfortably walk, bike, roll, and use public transit. www.ourstreetsmpls.org

About the Minneapolis Foundation: 

The Minneapolis Foundation drives collective action to realize strong, vibrant communities. The Foundation cultivates generosity by taking action on the greatest civic, social, and economic needs—partnering with nonprofits, facilitating grantmaking, driving research and advocacy, and providing services to donors seeking to make a difference in their communities. www.minneapolisfoundation.org