Etna and Sharpsburg to Close Streets for Open Streets Event
May 31, 2016 12:31PM
● By Erica Cebzanov
Etna and Sharpsburg officials will close their boroughs’ main thoroughfares to vehicle traffic during a joint Open Streets event on June 25 in order to promote physical activity in their neighborhoods.
“Open Streets is an opportunity for people to get out in the streets and be active,” said Greg Domian, Sharpsburg borough councilman and Sharpsburg Open Streets event coordinator. “Many of the events in both Etna and Sharpsburg are things that allow people to be active, including square dancing, martial arts, all kinds of kids’ games, basketball, ping-pong and bicycling.”
Etna Borough Manager Mary Ellen Ramage added that her borough will host demonstrations in art, baton, fencing and several forms of dance. Visitors will have the opportunity to try ice cream churning and a climbing wall as well.
There will also be music to get people moving. “No matter where you’re located on that day, there’s going to be live music playing,” said Domian. “Every few blocks, we’ll have a live band playing country-western, oldies, Motown or Top 40. We’ll also have two disc jockeys.
“Some of it will be organized, like the line dancing demonstrations, and some of it will be, ‘Hey, react to the music,’” Domian said regarding the Sharpsburg performances. Etna will host the River City Brass and the Ambridge Area High School Steel Drum Band.
If visitors work up an appetite from all of this activity, Open Streets has them covered. In Etna, patrons can purchase food from Luca’s Pizzeria and watch dough-tossing demonstrations, and Sharpsburg restaurants are moving their tables onto the streets to create an “open-air café type of setup,” according to Domian. Food trucks will serve a variety of cuisines, and The Dancing Gnome, a Sharpsburg craft brewery slated to open this summer, will serve beer. Some establishments will also provide samples.
“The Sharpsburg business owners see this as an opportunity to show their wares to people who have never stepped foot into our town. Our residents love the idea, because it’s another opportunity for them to go outside and enjoy the community,” Domian said, adding that the boroughs are currently experiencing a renaissance with their riverfront and Main Street redevelopments.
“We are fortunate to have a swimming pool and playground and deck hockey rink, and our community is very walkable,” said Ramage, who hopes that Open Streets will encourage residents to take full advantage of the area’s recreational opportunities.
Through its Live Well Allegheny Community designation, Etna received a $7,500 grant for Etna/Sharpsburg Open Streets. Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker granted Etna the status in 2015 for promoting the overall health and wellness of its residents.
The City of Pittsburgh has held similar events through OpenStreetsPGH, which is part of the global Cicolvia or ‘cycleway’ movement that closes streets to automobiles for cyclists and pedestrians.
All of the Open Streets activities are free. The event will take place on Butler and Bridge Streets in Etna and on Main Street in Sharpsburg on June 25th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, visit www.facebook/open streets etna/sharpsburg.