By Dave DeLuca
Technically, the environmentally themed day is Monday, Sept. 22. But this year you can attend an early party on Car-Free Day Eve. (That’s just what I’m calling it, but maybe it’ll catch on.)
The Corvallis-Benton County Library will get the ball rolling on Sunday, Sept. 21 with a car-free themed story time at the Central Park Gazebo. After story time there will be an alternative transportation themed parade to Riverfront Park for the main festival. Little ones are encouraged to bring scooters, trikes, or whatever is fun to ride. Anyone under 16 must wear a helmet.
Reference librarian Bonnie Brzozowski is excited about getting involved in the festivities. “We think the future of the library rests on being involved in events such as this one as they promote and build community, reflect a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and are just plain fun.”
1st Street will be closed to car traffic between Monroe and Jackson to make room for the music, food, kids’ activities, and games that make up the Car-Free Festival. There will also be information booths to help you come up with alternative ways to get around on Monday, or any other day. “Car-Free” swag like bandannas, armbands, and streamers will be handed out to help spread the word. Attendees can also bring old or extra athletic shoes to donate for recycling or reuse thanks to Five Star Sports and Nike. Festivities run from 1 to 4 p.m.
On Monday, Sept. 22, the fun will make its way to the streets. Eight neighborhood checkpoints will be set up around town between 7 and 9 a.m. for bike safety checks, refreshments, information, encouragement, and more swag. The locations are Cheldelin Middle School, Corvallis High School, both locations of First Alternative Co-op, Western View Center, Northwest Hills Community Church, Crossroads Christian Fellowship, and the downtown skate park. After that, it’s up to you.