Meet in the Street Begins June 25th: Events & Activities to Engage Community on Long-Term Future of the 16th Street Mall
Denver, CO – Meet in the Street, presented by DaVita and produced by the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, returns for a third year beginning Saturday, June 25, and continues each Saturday and Sunday on the 16th Street Mall (Mall) through July 24. Meet in the Street transforms the Mall into a fully activated pedestrian zone with activities including more than 10 extended outdoor cafes, live music, fitness classes, cultural performances, a kids zone and more.
Meet in the Street is produced in partnership with the City and County of Denver and the Regional Transportation District (RTD). The RTD Free MallRide Service will be moved to 15th Street (toward Denver Union Station) and 17th Street (away from Denver Union Station) via the Free MetroRide buses all weekend during Meet in the Street.
“The 16th Street Mall is Denver’s Main Street, and we are actively working to ensure its long-term future as a thriving public space,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “On a normal day, only one percent of people spend time on the Mall, contrasted by tens of thousands people passing through. We want to change that through place-making projects that activate the Mall and encourage people to come more often, and stay longer.”
Meet in the Street is one of the programs informing the City and the Partnership’s efforts to identify ways to help the Mall reach its full potential as a welcoming place in the heart of Downtown as part of The Mall Experience: The Future of Denver’s 16th Street Mall study. Analysis of Meet in the Street will continue this summer to help Mall partners hone in on long-term changes to the Mall and adjacent sites. Volunteer opportunities are available for urban researchers to help conduct observational studies along the Mall throughout the summer.
Each day of Meet in the Street will bring something different, with programming support from several community partners and organizations, including title sponsor, DaVita.
“We see Meet in the Street as part of our civic responsibility and are excited to do our share to help facilitate a rich experience,” said Javier Rodriguez, CEO of DaVita Kidney Care. “We are energized by the thriving Denver community and this is a great opportunity for friends and neighbors to meet and experience the 16th Street Mall in an entirely new way.”
Highlighted activities for the five weekends of Meet in the Street include:
- The Partnership’s Downtown Denver Leadership Program (DDLP) will install and unveil their “Urban Tangle” project the morning of Saturday, June 25, between Stout and Champa Streets. Be sure to look up to see the installation that is designed to transform the canopy along the block through 22,600 feet of red rope that will weave from buildings and through trees. DDLP is studying and supporting Mall activation as part of their 2016 class project.
- The Mall will transform into an urban park each weekend between Glenarm and Welton Streets, with seating, shade and turf making it the perfect place to sit and relax or challenge your friends to a lawn game.
- Paramount Café will unveil Downtown Denver’s latest urban art just in time for Meet in the Street. The mural, running in the alley adjacent to Paramount Café, will be unveiled Friday, June 24, at 3 p.m. and was commissioned by the restaurant in collaboration with design company Ink Monstr, the Partnership, the Kittredge and Masonic Buildings, and Breckenridge Brewery. The project supports efforts to leverage alleys as thriving public spaces and the alley will host Sipping n’ Painting classes on June 25 as well as other events throughout the summer.
- Live music will be prevalent throughout Meet in the Street, including a featured performance by the DaVita Blues All Stars’ on July 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. on the community stage located between Welton and California Streets. The DaVita Blues All Stars is a band composed exclusively of DaVita teammates to provide entertainment, fun and to support The DaVita Village Trust, which provides kidney disease education and the provision of dialysis services in emerging nations that cannot afford to provide this vital, life-saving service.
- The Big Wonderful will bring its unique blend of music, beer gardens, games, flea and fun to the Mall between Welton and California Streets on July 9, 10, 23 and 24.
- Play corn hole outside your favorite watering hole along the 16th Street Mall on July 9. Winners at each location will compete to become Denver’s premier corn hole champion.
Meet in the Street will culminate the weekend of July 23 and 24 with the inaugural Downtown Denver Prototyping Festival. The Prototyping Festival will feature nine projects that will experiment with ideas for public spaces and showcase ideas for how participatory design, art and technology can create connections and greater ownership of public spaces and how they are used. Accepted submissions received a $2,500 stipend to support project creation and installation.
“The Mall Experience study is helping us understand more about how the Mall’s physical features and activities affect experiences,” said Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. “The Mall is a very successful transit corridor, but now we want to ask more of the Mall.”
Photos courtesy of the Downtown Denver Partnership
Inset photo by Glen Ross Photography