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The Open Streets events allow community members to walk, run, bike and skate through closed-off streets. Jose Olivares/RGJ, RENO.COM

The Reno-Sparks Open Streets events give families and community members the opportunity to enjoy public spaces. It allows people to get away from cold, dark computer and cellphone screens to enjoy a bright and refreshing day out.

Certain streets in Reno and Sparks are blocked off to cars for runners, bicyclists, skaters and – basically anyone – to enjoy their community.

The first Open Streets event in Northern Nevada was last year in Reno. The second Open Streets event was on Sunday, July 31 of this year.

However, the third Open Streets event was this past weekend in Sparks.

Multiple streets were blocked off and vendors lined the pathways as bicyclists and families enjoyed the sunrays, live music and plethora of activities.

The events are organized in collaboration between the City of Reno, the City of Sparks, the Washoe County Health District, Renown Health and the Reno Bike Project.

“Essentially we wanted to encourage people to come out, to be physically active and to engage local merchants to have a vibrant community,” Yann Ling-Barnes with the Washoe County Health District said.

Ling-Barnes sees an increasing need for Open Streets.

“As civilizations are getting bigger and bigger, we have less and less places to do what we like to do,” Ling-Barnes said. “So if we can get on the streets – when the streets are closed for a little bit – and come out and play, and be physically active by other means, we not only cut down on air pollution but make our bodies healthier.”

The upcoming Open Streets events will be in 2017. However, the exact dates haven’t been finalized.

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