On March 25, five miles of streets in Downtown Pensacola will close, with the community encouraged to walk, bike, skate, run, dance or just play in a safe, relaxed atmosphere.
It’s called a ciclovia — pronounced “seek-low-via” — a movement that started in South America some 30 years ago and has since spread to more than 400 cities around the world.
For the Pensacola event, Main Street and Bayfront Parkway will close between the Vince J. Whibbs, Sr. Community Maritime Park and the Gulf Power Building, while Palafox Street will close from Garden Street south to Plaza de Luna. Both closures will last from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
“Pensacola is ripe for Ciclovia,” said Sally Rosendahl, organizer of the Pensacola event. “We have a great community, a rich history and a vibrant culture. Ciclovia is a unique opportunity for citizens and visitors to connect these assets, enjoy active living and highlight our community on the worldwide stage.”
Organizers have planned a variety of activities as part of the event, including a bike skills clinic, Zumba, music and dancing, and a “family zone.” Bicycle rentals and free kid’s helmets will be available, and select businesses and restaurants will offer Ciclovia specials. Zaragoza Street between Palafox and Alcaniz streets will also be open to allow participants to engage with costumed interpreters from the Historic Pensacola Village.
“Mayor Ashton Hayward’s early endorsement and the support of the City of Pensacola, along with the backing from community leaders and organizations, has been vital to this effort,” said Rosendahl.
Sponsors and partners for the event include LiveWell Partnership for a Healthy Community, Visit Pensacola, West Florida Regional Planning Council, University of West Florida Historic Trust, University of West Florida, Florida Department of Transportation, Dasani Water from Pensacola Coca-Cola United, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board, Escambia County School District, Studer Properties, Beck Partners, Jerry Pate Design, Portofino Island Resort and the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County.
Free basic bicycle safety checks are available in advance of the event through participating local bicycle shops, organizers said.