Zoe Kircos, Grants Manager
When Bike Walk Mississippi asked us for a grant to help fund the first-ever cyclov?a in Mississippi, they hoped for a nice day, some fun activities, a few local sponsors, and a decent showing of people. But they got more than they bargained for.
A diverse crowd of nearly 700 people showed up on April 27th to walk, ride bikes, rollerblade, and skateboard at Jackson Streets Alive, an open streets event that stretched up Congress Street to the state capitol. Those who came to enjoy the food, festivities, and streets cleared of motor vehicles for a few hours could watch a little roller derby or cheer their favorite bike polo team. Plenty of people paused to partake in fitness classes from belly dancing to zumba, with a bit of yoga and even kickboxing thrown in. And more than a dozen local groups stepped up to support the effort with donations and in-kind contributions.
Bike polo was one of the many activities at the ciclovia.
?We had such a great time and people are ALREADY asking about when we are going to do it again!? said Melody Moody, Executive Director of Bike Walk Mississippi, the statewide bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group that organized the event. ?The event was successful because it brought together groups from all over Jackson including the City, our statewide newspaper, the Clarion Ledger, our local alternative weekly paper, the Jackson Free Press, business organizations like the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Jackson Partners, and the Jackson Visitors Bureau, both the Downtown and Belhaven Heights Neighborhood Associations, local musicians, dance companies, fitness studio teachers, and our bicycling, roller derby and skateboarding groups as well. Together we were able to make the streets of Jackson come alive!?
Our community grants program helped make the event happen, along with the support of many other generous community sponsors.
We?re sorry we didn’t make it down to Jackson for this inaugural event, but we hope it’s the first of many ciclov?as in this southern city. Next time we?ll make sure to schedule it in — just hold a place for us on the zumba floor.