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Downtown Streets to Close this Sunday for Community Festival

Several downtown Pittsburgh streets will be closed Sunday to host Pittsburgh's  first Open Streets event, which will include Tai Chi, Zumba, dance classes and a rock climbing wall--all for free.

Open Streets was started 30 years ago in Colombia.  It is a time when cities shut down sections of roads so that pedestrians, and cyclists can move about freely.

In Pittsburgh, streets from Market Square to the Clemente Bridge will be closed for the event, but Mike Carroll, an events coordinator from BikePGH says traffic will not be impacted too heavily.

“Cross streets at Open Streets will be open to cars passing through the intersection, so red lights operate like red lights. People can go about their day, and not necessarily have to worry about like ‘oh this is a big closure.’ We really try to keep things as open as possible,” said Carroll.

In Pittsburgh the event will be family friendly, with family yoga and Zumba, and giant games-- like chess jenga, checkers and cornhole, bicycle wheel bowling, and snowboarding.

Carroll says this event is different from most festivals and parades because people will be participating in all of the events, with no performances.

“It’s really all about participating in the Open Streets, so while there’s not a dance performance, there’s an opportunity for you to learn how to dance. While there’s not a yoga competition, it’s really about you and everyone else in Pittsburgh coming out to do yoga together in the streets,” said Carroll.

BikePGH is leading the event with help from several other organizations, and the city.

The event will be from 8am-12 pm rain or shine.

Jess was accepted as a WESA fellow in the news department in January 2014. The Erie, PA native attends Duquesne University where she has a double major--broadcast journalism and political science. Following her anticipated graduation in May 2015, she plans to enter law school or begin a career in broadcast journalism.