Viva Streets runs, rides into town April 5

HARLINGEN — Viva Streets Harlingen, the city’s all-action festival of running, bike riding and other physical activities, is set for April 5 in the historic downtown district.

A social bike ride is on the board Friday evening, along with a 1K Fun Run and the Adventure 5K.

The 1K fun run is for participants 12 and under, while the 5K is for runners 13 and over. Participants need to pre-register for the running races at

“We already have the medals for the 5K run, and we’re going to have a mile fun run for the kids,” Bethsalee Flores, recreation supervisor, told the Parks and Recreation Department advisory board this week. “We’re taking registrations already.

“We’ll have lots of activities, lots of physical activities, like always,” she added.

Jackson Street from Commerce Street to 6th Street will be shut down to traffic for the festival.

“The bike ride will be five to six miles,” said J. Joel Garza Jr., executive director of the Harlingen-San Benito Metropolitan Planning Organization. “We’re starting and ending downtown on Jackson and A Streets.

“It will be a good 40-45 minutes,” Garza added. “We’re starting at 6:30, and we’re hoping if everything goes well, people can ride their bike and do the tour and come back and do the 5K.”

Garza’s agency is organizing the bike ride for Viva Streets Harlingen, and said the ride will be dedicated to the late Henry Roberts, founder of Bicycle World.

The timing of the activities for Viva Streets has changed this year, said Javier Mendez, parks and rec director. The bike ride is at 6:30 p.m., the 1-mile fun run is at 7 and the 5K will commence at 7:30

“After the 5K, people started leaving so what we do is put the 5K at the very end of the event so people can stay and socialize first, and then the kids’ mile run and the 5K,” Mendez said. “We’re going to close down Jackson from Commerce to 6th Street. So all that area is going to be closed off so people can ride their bikes and do whatever they want.

“The 5K route will be all the way to the library, around City Lake, then come back and end at Jackson,” he added.

If you go

WHAT — Viva Streets Harlingen

WHEN — Friday, April 5, 6-8 p.m.

WHERE — Jackson Street between A Street and 6th Street

ACTIVITES — 1K Fun Run, Adventure 5K, Kids Zone, Social Bike Ride. Pre-register at

COST — Free