Free-Roam the Streets of Santa Barbara

Already miss CicLAvia? The American Rivera has your follow-up.

WHEN THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE... dance and bike and skateboard and walk through the streets of Los Angeles during the thrice-yearly CicLAvia, a tangible ripple, of sorts, can be sensed. And that ripple is this: We rather like being pedestrains, and cyclists, and pogo-stickers, and we kind of favor having the wider boulevards all to ourselves (while the automobiles take a break). But that's not the way it goes, for our cities, mostly always, for cars and roads go together like traffic lights and the colors red, yellow, and green. Still, though, there are a few occasions when we may enjoy the streets as people on foot (as opposed to foot-on-the-gas). The final CicLAvia of 2015 just wrapped in mid-October, but Santa Barbara is next up, with its third annual Santa Barbara Open Streets celebration. And there's a bonus to this bash, beyond it being free (like CicLAvia): Cabrillo Boulevard is the setting for the Saturday, Oct. 24 event, so attendees will get to savor over two miles of beachfront road without a car in sight.

THERE WILL BE YOGA IN SIGHT, though, as is now tradition with this plucky party, and a shake-your-stuff street dance party, too. But if you want to mindfully breeze along, at a sauntering pace, you can pedestrian-it-up to your happy heart's content. Still, if you want to do more during the day, there's a costume-y dress-as-an-animal 5K, and the "Thriller" zombies will be out in the afternoon, groaning and shimmying and doing all of the things the undead are prone to do. 

SANTA BARBARA CAR FREE... is behind the come-together happening, which is all about "people-powered movement," something that fits well with a city that's much associated with the founding of Earth Day. It is a movement, for sure, and with the rise of bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, we're bound to see more gatherings that puts feet on the streets, as opposed to tires and tracks. Taking the train there, with your bike, for some beach-close wheeling? That sounds like a fine October Saturday to us. Just don't let a zombie getcha.

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