Jackson’s Streets came Alive on Saturday, April 27th!
Even with the threat of rain, over 700 people participated in turning downtown Jackson, Mississippi into their very own playground on Saturday, April 27th. Jackson Streets Alive” sponsored by Bike Walk Mississippi, the statewide bicycle and pedestrian advocacy non-profit with support from Bikes Belong, the Foundation for the Mid South, the city of Jackson and other local sponsors was the state’s first “cyclovia”, a nationwide movement to to temporarily close streets to automobile traffic, opening them up instead to people to enjoy walking, bicycling, dancing, playing, and socializing.
Stretching from the corner of Capitol Street and Congress all the way to the state capitol, Congress Street, Yazoo Street and East Amite were filled with people of all ages riding bikes, skateboarding, roller-skating and playing in the streets! East Amite Street came alive with dancers from the Front Porch Dance company creating a interactive dance game where participants rolled blow up dice and completed a series of dances and games. While, just across the way, the MS Tennis Association set up a pop-up tennis court where participants of all ages could try their hand at tennis in the middle of the street!
The Magnolia Roller Vixens and the Capitol City Roller girls brought the contagious energy of roller derby to the streets of Jackson where they skated throughout the festival, played games, enjoyed a scrimmage and even played tennis while on skates! Skate MS, Bike Walk Mississippi and Raise Your Pints gathered at Yazoo and Congress to spread the message of a better Mississippi. Passersby even enjoyed free chips and Salsa from our friends at Jaco’s Tacos!
Congress Street was filled with physical challenges and interactive games, supported by “Just have a ball”, an initiative by the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi including jump rope, hopscotch, bean-bag toss and the favorite of the day: four-square! These along with face-painting, bubbles and ladder ball kept kids entertained and active for hours! Blonde’s verses Brunette’s, Jackson’s local women flag football teams dedicated to raising awareness for Alzheimer’s came out to toss around footballs with the crowd.
Smith Park, downtown’s favorite green space stayed active all day with fitness classes hosted by Tara Yoga and showcasing local instructors from the Jackson area including high-energy Turbo-Kickboxing class taught by Dwanda Moore, Zumba with Paula Eure of Zumba Fitness, Yoga from stage sponsor and class organizer Tara Yoga, Belly-dancing instruction taught by Monique Davis of Hippymama’s Bellydance Therapy, Pilates taught by Marlena Duncan and Yoga from Scotta Brady of Fondren’s Butterfly Yoga! In between classes, people of ages even enjoyed hula-hoop contests!
A walk around Smith Park and down Yazoo Street, attendees had their choice of food vendors from Jackson’s favorite food truck, LurnyD’s Grill on hand to sell their famous burgers and street food or the hard to pass up hand-made pizzas from Garden to Fire, the area’s only mobile brick oven!
To burn off those burgers and pizza’s, a short walk down Yazoo Street led participants to the Jackson Metro Cyclist’s Bicycle skills course, Revolution Mobile Bicycle Services and who could forget the attention getting antics of the Jackson Bike Polo teams leading all the way up to the Capitol building on the northern stretch of Congress Street …word has it that even folks from the Mobile Polo (MOLO) teams came to Jackson Streets Alive to get in on the action!
Whether eating delicious food from the local food vendors or dancing in the streets, everyone at Jackson Streets Alive enjoyed music from local singer-songwriter Mark Roemer, Surf band Buddy and the Squids, the always energetic Southern Komfort Brass Band, the acoustic and unique sounds of 5th Child and Cody Cox and some sweet hip hop from AJC & the Envelope Pushers.
After the success of Jackson Streets Alive, it is the hope of sponsor Bike Walk Mississippi to partner with communities throughout the state through their Bicycle Friendly Mississippi campaign to bring cyclovia’s and fun bicycle centric programs to cities and towns around Mississippi!
Bike Walk Mississippi believes that the best way to build a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly state is by reminding all those who may not identify as “cyclists” that bicycling, whether it be a trip to the store, around the block with your kids, as your transportation to work or down the local trail builds a better Mississippi!
Events like these serve as an avenue to bring FUN and easy physical activities like biking to communities across the state and, simply by participating you are joining the “movement” for a better, safer, healthier and more bicycle and pedestrian friendly state! Let’s celebrate our cities and encourages healthy activity and community growth by providing a space to celebrate and to make active living an easy, accessible and enjoyable part of life in Mississippi!
You can also purchase pictures from the festival from Thortis Photography. View the slideshow of pictures HERE or visit them at their facebook HERE, you can order pics by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Without our generous sponsors and amazing volunteers, Jackson Streets Alive would not have been possible!
A big Bike Walk Mississippi THANK YOU to: Bikes Belong, the Foundation for the Mid South, the City of Jackson, Paul Moak Subaru, Cups, an espresso cafe, Thortis Photography, Newman & Newman, MS Tennis Association, GO T STRONG.com, State Street Group, Tara Yoga, Heather Calcote Consulting, Brent’s, Belhaven Heights Neighborhood Association, Portico, Downtown Jackson Partners, Jackson Metro Cyclists, the Jackson Free Press, LurnyD’s, Gill, Ladner & Priest PLLC, Jett Design/Build, Inc., the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Jackson Visitors Bureau, Peure Zumba, Hippy Mama’s Bellydance Therapy, Marlena Duncan, Magnolia Roller Vixens, Dwanda Moore, Butterfly Yoga, Front Porch Dance and so many more!
Learn more about the efforts of Bike Walk Mississippi HERE!
Your donations will help bring bicycle centric events and cyclovia’s like Jackson Streets Alive to other cities and towns across the state through Bike Walk’s Bicycle Friendly Mississippi campaign. Be part of the movement for a more bicycle and pedestrian state HERE and your gift will be matched dollar for dollar by our partners, Advocacy Advance! Help us get Mississippi moving!
- Keep up with festival news and see media stories and pictures from Jackson Streets Alive at our facebook page: www.facebook.com/JacksonStreetsAlive
Jackson Streets Alive is made possible by: Bike Walk Mississippi, Bikes Belong, the Foundation for the Mid South, the city of Jackson, our wonderful sponsors and YOU!