Under a blazing sun, thousands of Sacramentans swarmed two miles of Broadway on Sunday for the inaugural Sunday Street on Broadway event.
The morning started out quietly, but by 10 a.m. the normally car-filled stretch of asphalt was covered with people walking, jogging and biking, watching acrobatic yoga and chatting with friends. For four hours, from 8 a.m. to noon, city residents were invited to view the street as a community destination rather than a way to get from point A to point B.
Booths were set up here and there along the commercial corridor representing groups such as WALKSacramento. On some blocks, people danced to music blaring from speakers. Sacramento Republic FC set up an inflatable soccer field. Members of performance group Infinite Spin demonstrated advanced hula-hooping. Acrobatic yogis lifted each other off the ground with their hands and feet, performing feats of trust and strength.
Sunday Street was inspired by the Open Streets Project, which aims to get people thinking about streets as more than just a way to get around. Similar events have been popular in cities across the country, including San Francisco.
Sunday Street’s route started at Riverside, turned right at 26th Street and then left onto Second Avenue down to where Second meets back up with Broadway. Cars were allowed to cross at strategic points, and while traffic was slower than usual on W and X streets, it was still moving.
Near Joe Marty’s Bar & Grille at the 15th Street intersection, brightly hued chalk drawings decorated the street. Barry Marcus was keeping an eye on a table of chalk and sponges for his friend Scott Clark, who had come up with the idea to let Sacramentans demonstrate their imaginations.
“It’s great to see how creative people are,” Marcus, 66, said. “I’m surprised by the volume of the turnout (for Sunday Street). Seems to be pretty popular.”
He said he’d seen people from all walks of life, many of them on bicycles.
“I think it’s fantastic,” he said of the event. “It brings people together.”