Urban Eats and Downtown Dutchtown (DT2), in conjunction with Trailnet, are sponsoring St Louis Open Streets 2018 – a day of fun events on Saturday, June 2, starting with a blessing of bikes and a bike tour of historic parks.

The day starts at 9 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Church parking lot at 3140 Meramec. Trailnet will provide free helmets and fittings for kids and present safety tips for riders. At 9:30 a.m., Father Andy Lewandowski of the Franciscan Friars at St. Anthony will preside over the 11th Annual Blessing of the Bikes, blessing bikes, skateboards, roller blades, baby strollers and any other people-propelled, wheeled devices that roll into the parking lot.

Following the blessing, around 10 a.m., the group will migrate one block west to Urban Eats at 3301 Meramec for the Annual Dutchtown Bike Tour of historic parks. The first 25 arrivals will receive a free bottled water and an Urban Eats coupon. Riders can get snacks for the tour and place lunch orders to enjoy when they return. The bike tour leaves Urban Eats at about 10:30 a.m., led by volunteer guide Jim Dauphin. The tour will take in the many pocket parks tucked into the neighborhood, where riders will learn each park’s history, written by local author and historian NiNi Harris.

Cyclists who want a longer ride can pick up a map at Urban Eats and follow a self-guided tour to Carondelet Park, the Christy Greenway and River des Peres Trail.

Open Streets events continue at 11 a.m. with the opening of Marquette Park Pool. In Open Streets initiatives, streets become public plazas for the day, better connecting people to their city in parks, business districts and community resources, while strengthening neighborhood interaction and promoting active transportation. Open Streets temporarily close streets to automobile traffic, so that people may use the street for nearly any activity – except driving.

“We expect Compton Avenue, from Cherokee to Meramec, will be teeming with people-powered activity of all sorts on every block, activities such as yoga, dancing, hopscotch, pick-up games, etc, and the participation of more than 50 community partners” said organizer Jacque Lumsden.

Residents are free to roam about the street, participating in planned exercise stations, as well as travel the route, connecting between destinations, walking or biking. Cyclists coming back on the last leg of the Dutchtown Bike Tour will be “waved in” past the KDHX stage at Osceola and Compton. Merchants in the business district on Meramec will be open on Saturday with a street-wide Sidewalk Sale, featuring shops as diverse as a comic book store, a floral bloom bar, nail salon, resale clothing and furniture, frozen custard, restaurant/pubs, vintage toy store, pharmacy, tea shop, barber and hair salon, and more.

Learn more at www.stlopenstreets.com.