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Akron Celebrates Second Open Streets Event in Firestone Park, Kenmore and Summit Lake

photo of Cami Chickonoski, Jen Vliet

Hundreds of people walked and biked around parts of southern Akron yesterday as part of the city’s second “Open Streets” event.

The event closed several main roads through the Kenmore, Summit Lake and Firestone Park neighborhoods to allow people to ride, run, walk and skate between everything from food trucks to game stations to a meet-and-greet with the Akron Racers pro softball team.

Celeste Wainwright is from the Merriman Valley section of Akron, and says it’s a much different experience than just driving through places like Firestone Park.

“You get to see the homes and the neighborhood is really nice and the neighbors actually came out and brought stuff for the kids, which is nice. Looks like they have a little jumpy house down there. Great event, keep doing it -- maybe different neighborhoods – just see Akron.”

Cami Chickonoski lives in Firestone Park, and says walking around for the whole afternoon opened up a new perspective on her neighborhood.

“We were walking on Aster and saw this new coffee shop that’s opening up next week. And we’re always looking for different coffee shops but there’s never been any around here, so we always go to different areas.”

The event was sponsored by the Knight Foundation, which hopes to make it a more frequent occurrence. The first Open Streets Akron took place in 2015 and closed streets between North Hill and downtown.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.