HARLINGEN — If it works, expand it.
Viva Streets Harlingen was a big success last year, with more than 1,500 attendees and 400 people registering for the 5K run-walk.
So this year the “paved park” concept, which closes some downtown streets, is combining with Library Night Out to be bigger, better and badder.
“During Viva Streets we temporarily close down some streets to automobile traffic so that the community may use them for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing and socializing,” said Alexandria Rocha, transportation planner with the Harlingen-San Benito Metropolitan Planning Organization.
“This year in conjunction with Viva Streets Harlingen the Harlingen Public Library will be having their National Library Night Out, and the theme for the night is ‘Light Up your Mind and Body,’ and we are encouraging all to colorfully and brightly decorate themselves and their bikes or skates or skateboards,” Rocha added.
Library Director Dauna Campbell said partnering with the Harlingen-San Benito MPO has allowed both organizations to combine resources and staff for a single event.
“Last year, the events were one week apart and both enjoyed a healthy turnout,” Campbell said. “This year we decided to combine the events to better cross-promote both events.”
It will be the third year for Library Night Out.
“Both events are intended to promote healthy lifestyles, so we are natural partners,” Campbell added. “Viva Streets encourages Harlingen to be physically active and make healthy food choices. And the library encourages Harlingen to expand our minds and spirits through reading and education.
“Thus, the theme of ‘Light Up your Mind and Body’ was born,” she said.
The events this year will include fitness class demos, a bike rodeo, free bike rentals, a slow race competition and a rock-climbing wall, among other offerings.
“A new component to Viva Streets this year is a bike crawl ride hosted by Bicycle World RGV beginning at 8:45 p.m.,” Rocha said. “This is a casual bike ride around the city totaling 6.84 miles, and the bike ride is free.”
WHERE: Jackson Avenue to Harlingen Public Library
STREETS CLOSED: Jackson Avenue to 6th Street to 76 Drive to library
WHEN: Friday, April 7
TIME: 6 to 10 p.m.
COST: Free to get in
to 1st Street
Fitness Classes — Zumba, Body Combat, CXWORX, Sit and Be Fit
Slow Bike Race
Free bike rentals
Harlingen Farmer’s Market
UT Health “Tu Salud Si Cuenta”
2nd Street to 3rd Street
First Community Bank
American Red Cross
Fitness Zone Gym
5th Street to 6th Street
Harlingen School of Health Professions
Jubilee Academic Center
Rodeo Dental and
Tiffany Zumba Class
The Health Nut
Health Screening by UTH School of Public Health
National Library Night Out
Baaxten Imaging Center
Healing Touch Massage
Harlingen Medical Center
Neighbors Emergency Center
Valley Baptist Healthy
Boys & Girls Club
5K start/finish ($25 fee)
Bike Crawl Ride start/finish