The annual “Streets Alive!” outdoor movement festival, which celebrates active living and healthy lifestyles, will be in University Place for the first time Sunday, Sept. 25, from 1-4:30 p.m. A free mobile festival, “Streets Alive!” moves to a new neighborhood every two years. The festival stretches over two traffic-free miles and showcases Lincoln’s established neighborhoods.
"We love University Place, and we are thrilled to invite everyone in the city to celebrate our neighborhood as we co-host ‘Streets Alive!’ with Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln," said Shari Sorenson, board member with the University Place Community Organization (UPCO). "It's a great opportunity to get outside, gather with old friends, meet new neighbors and explore all that ‘Streets Alive!’ has to offer."
Free health resources and more. “Streets Alive!” is an open streets concept celebrated worldwide. Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, a local community health nonprofit, and the festival organizer brought the concept to Lincoln 11 years ago. Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln lines the streets of the festival with nearly 100 nonprofit exhibitors who offer free health and wellness resources, screenings, education and information in a fun an interactive way. Besides all the health resources, Home Town Favorites and Fisher Beauty and Barber will be on hand to give free haircuts.
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The nearly 2-mile route is also interspersed with music, dance, art, join-in fitness, sports demonstrations, fresh produce and food vendors to encourage people to move throughout the whole route. Visitors can walk, run, bike, skate or propel a wheelchair throughout the festival, entering or exiting anywhere along the route. The city-sponsored event is family, kid, pet and wheelchair-friendly.
Sports, fitness, bike raffle. One fun join-in fitness activity for kids includes a soccer clinic. Steve Pointon, pastor at Fourth Presbyterian in University Place, also serves as an assistant soccer coach at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He not only rallied his soccer team to help spruce up UPCO Park in preparation for the festival, but he and his players will be there conducting the soccer clinic. “We think this will be great fun – a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together, and we are all looking forward to being there," said Pointon.
Besides the soccer clinic, visitors can get active with a YMCA Pound class, yoga with Wild Root, then enjoy join-in sports demos from No Coast Junior Roller Derby, Precision Skateboard, Lincoln DEVO (mountain biking), Nebraska Swordfighters Guild and Swanson Martial Arts. Kids completing the Fitness Challenge between 1-3 p.m. can be entered into a raffle to win prizes that include free bikes, courtesy of the Lincoln Bike Kitchen and Scheels. Winners will be announced at 3:15 p.m. Must be present to win.
Music and dance. Visitors always look forward to the music and dance at “Streets Alive!” too, said Rosina Paolini, Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln wellness and outreach coordinator and program manager for “Streets Alive!” The music offerings appeal to a wide variety of tastes. Visitors can dance along with Jonathon Leach and Black Orphanim, offering Latin jazz and the soul and R & B sounds of Cool Poppas on stage. On the route, visitors can enjoy gospel from Beau Bullock of Sidewalk Hymns, classical music from cellist Nicholas Li, music from Blue Raven Studios, and a children’s sing-along with Jim King. The always fun Lincoln Ukulele Band will offer tunes from all genres. CK Dance Academy will showcase student dancers, Dancing Beyond Limits will offer children’s adaptive dance, and Dawes Middle School will step up with its Step Team.
Food. Visitors can purchase tasty offerings from the UNL Dairy Store, Farmers Market Kettle Corn and The Corner Kitchen. The Lincoln Fresh truck will provide free locally grown produce. Free bottled water and fruit will be available from some exhibitors and at some information booths.
“’Streets Alive!’ couldn’t happen without support from generous sponsors,” said Paolini. Platinum sponsors include the Community Health Endowment, the City of Lincoln and Healthy Blue Nebraska. Gold sponsors are KLKN ABC TV and the Lincoln Journal Star. Silver sponsors include Bryan Health, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Complete Weddings + Events, John Henry’s Plumbing, KZUM FM radio, Rivers Metal Products and Screen Ink.
“We’re grateful to our sponsors at every level, including a dozen more bronze and route sponsors,” said Paolini.
Find a route map for the “Streets Alive!” festival and more information at HealthyLincoln.org/streetsalive.