Hancock Helps Bring New Major Community Event to Santa Maria

Open Streets Santa Maria will be held Sunday, Mar. 31

FEBRUARY 5, 2019--For the first time in history, a full mile of Santa Maria’s Main Street will close for a day to make way for a new, world-class event on Sunday, March 31 called Open Streets Santa Maria.  

The free event, sponsored by Allan Hancock College, Santa Barbara County Associated Government Traffic Solutions (SBCAG), SBBike, Coast Hills Credit Union and others, will take place between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the busiest section of Main Street between Broadway and Blosser. The event will provide a vast array of safe and healthy recreational activities for all ages, while celebrating community, education, art and local businesses. The street will be free of cars and traffic, allowing the community to explore and interact with the organizations involved.  Up to 7,000 people are expected to attend.

“The Santa Maria community is so hungry for this kind of community-spirited, family-friendly event,” said Carlos Escobedo, Santa Maria Open Streets coordinator and Allan Hancock College student success outreach specialist.  “What I find most magical about this event is how inclusive it will be. No matter what the activity is, as long as it aims to improve the health and wellness of our community, it has a place at the event.”

Open Streets events, also known as Ciclovía, are a relatively new model of community-oriented events that major cities around the world have adopted, including Bogota, Columbia, Melbourne, Australia and Mexico City, Mexico. Local Central Coast communities have also held similar annual events including Santa Barbara and Lompoc. Each city, big or small, offers its own unique event with the shared goal of bringing happiness, health and fitness to residents in an accessible and safe way on their public streets.

“Allan Hancock College is proud to help bring such a positive and exciting event to the community,” said Allan Hancock College Vice President/Associate Superintendent of Student Services Nohemy Ornelas.  “Part of the college’s mission is to enhance the creative, intellectual, cultural and economic vitality of our diverse community and this event fits right in.”

Because the event will also be held on César Chávez Day this year, there will be a culmination of cultural activities and performances, live music and social justice causes that celebrate the Latino and Mixtec communities in Santa Maria.

Some of the activities planned include dance, martial arts, Zumba, yoga, a climbing wall, a bike safety rodeo for kids, a non-competitive family foot race, street hockey, fútbol, lawn games and much more. Student clubs, athletics and academic organizations from Allan Hancock College will also be showcasing at the event.

“Right now, we still have a call out for more organizations to take part and for volunteers to help,” said Escobedo. “It literally takes a village to make events like this happen, so the more volunteers we can get, the better!”

Organizations and groups that offer an interactive activity can showcase at the event at no cost. For non-profits that want booth space, the fee is $50. For-profit businesses that fit within the event theme can also apply to be at the event with a booth fee of $100. Applications can be submitted through February 15, 2019, via website at http://sbopenstreets.org/activity-provider-application/.

 “Most of all, we just want everyone to come out and enjoy the event,” said Escobedo. “Bring your family, bring your friends, or just come to connect with the broader community. It will be a magical experience not to be missed. We hope this can become an annual event in Santa Maria!”

For more information on Open Streets Santa Maria or to volunteer or register an activity booth, visit www.sbopenstreets.org.

- AHC -

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Last Modified Feb 5, 2019