DENVER — Downtown Denver looked slightly different Sunday as people ditched their cars to explore the city.
“We are celebrating the first-ever ¡Viva! Streets [Denver], a huge celebration of downtown Denver as we all come out to walk, ride, roll, and dance in the streets,” said Kourtny Garrett, the president and CEO of Downtown Denver Partnership, which organized the event.
A 3.5-mile stretch of Broadway and Welton Street was closed to cars for about six hours.
People of all ages explored businesses and other spaces along the route.
“We see a significant positive impact with these kinds of events when we are in a business corridor, so people who may not know of new businesses or rediscover businesses that you love,” said Garrett. "There are so many benefits that we see when people come out. There are health benefits, discovering new businesses, discovering new places in the city, and being together all really in that wonderful hub that is the signature of Denver."
Garrett says ¡Viva! Streets Denver was inspired by similar events in other cities, like Mexico City and Bogota, Colombia.
“This is a moment where the entire city comes together to celebrate, to embrace our streets, and really, again, show love to our city,” said Garrett.
Taste of Colorado joined the event, bringing food trucks and vendors to Civic Center Park.
Things got off to a slow start because of the rain.
More people started showing up once the rain began to clear.
Organizers hope the crowds will grow.
“We really hope that this is an annual event,” said Garrett. “We hope that other communities throughout Denver will embrace it and find this wonderfully connected event in the future.”
Three other ¡Viva! Streets Denver events will occur on June 4, July 9, and August 6.
For more information, visit https://www.vivastreetsdenver.com/.