Monday, 21 May 2012

Color College Avenue

The first Saturday after Graduation is for many people, the first weekend of summer in Blacksburg. With thousands of pesky Virginia Tech students gone, it is calm and peaceful. However, on Saturday May 19th, College Avenue was anything but quiet.

On my way to the farmer's market, I witnessed a most impressive open streets event. I slowed, dismounted and tied by bike to the racks next to Henderson Lawn. Before me, hundreds of bubbling children ran wild with painted fingers and paintbrushes as they doused life onto the dull grey street. Bikes with child seats attached and covered trailers were strewn all around. Families had even biked to the event with their kids. I soon learned Color College Avenue was a project of The New River Valley to participate in MINDS WIDE OPEN, a statewide initiative to present programs focused on children and the arts, by offering art-inspired, child-friendly events throughout the community. Not only did kids create masterpieces on College Avenue. As the street was closed off to traffic for the day, an evening group mobilized to paint a Save Stadium Woods art mural at the entrance. I was told before the Save Stadium Woods piece was added, large gallon globs of paint had been poured on the street and children had danced and skated through it! The Save Stadium Woods mural revamped the colorful messes.

The street art will stay up all summer until it's paved over for College Avenue Promenade construction in August. Now that's a beautiful liveability event for Blacksburg. How about we close College Avenue down to all car traffic, always?

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