Open Streets Corvallis returns after two-year hiatus


Nick Kline

Photos taken in 2019, courtesy of Open Streets Corvallis volunteer, Nick Kline.

Haley Stark, News Contributor

After a two year hiatus, the Open Streets Corvallis festival will return from 12-4 p.m. on Aug. 14, temporarily closing Polk Ave, Lincoln Ave, and parts of surrounding roads.

Open Streets is a free festival that attempts to promote active transportation and celebrate various cultures within the Corvallis community. After a parade kicks off the event, guests can visit the various activity hubs set all throughout a two mile area bookended by Arnold Park and Chintimini Park, featuring live music, dancing, games, art activities  and local food and drink vendors.

Many of the activity hubs are centered around Latino culture. Visitors can expect to see Mexican charro (rope tricks), engage with fiesta dancers and snack on Sabor Tamales at this event. A full list of activities is available on Open Streets’ website.

Open Streets’ main goal outside of cultural celebration is to promote sustainability. By blocking off streets from motor vehicles for part of the day, the event encourages visitors to engage in active forms of transportation such as walking, biking and skateboarding.

“The event re-envisions how neighborhood streets are used, centering people first. For some people, it may be their first experience biking, walking or rolling in a space that doesn’t prioritize motor vehicles,” said Event Organizer Lindsey Almarode via email.  “Our neighborhood bikeway demonstration highlights street calming features that the city may implement in the future, creating safer streets to walk and bike on. It’s a great opportunity to educate and engage with the community about future transportation projects.”

In order to practice this, Open Streets Corvallis goes out of their way to make sure the event functions sustainably.

“The OSU Solar Trailer will be providing electricity at one of the parks and our waste stations are staffed by volunteers to make sure attendees sort their waste into the appropriate bins – recycling, compost or garbage,” Almarode said.

This is the first year since 2019 that Open Streets Corvallis returns, canceled the previous two years due to COVID-19. According to Almarode, the event was able to return due to the support of local sponsors.

“I’ve been lucky to work with a team of people from other organizations, including the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, Casa Latinos Unidos, Benton County Health Department, OSU Transportation Services, Corvallis Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), and Corvallis Bicycle Collective,” Almarode said. “Many of the people of the steering committee have been involved with the last three events.”

Volunteers are another factor that keeps Open Streets going. Potential volunteers can sign-up  through the event’s website and provide assistance throughout the day prior to and the day of the festival.


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