On Sunday, November 17, more than 5,000 people experienced Beach Boulevard like never before during “Meet on Beach.” The inaugural community festival connected seven Orange County cities – La Habra, Buena Park, Anaheim, Stanton, Garden Grove, Westminster, Huntington Beach – to transform the 21-mile historic corridor into a more bike and pedestrian-friendly street for this one day and to inspire future transformations. The event celebrated the diversity of the iconic boulevard and promoted active transportation, healthy communities, and economic development along the historic corridor through art, activations, performances, hands-on workshops, and community pride.
Meet on Beach kicked off in the hills of La Habra as bicyclists cruised down the Coyote Creek Bikeway. There was an abundance of family-fun to welcome the events with arts and crafts from the La Habra Children’s Museum, BMX and CrossFit demonstrations, and a Zumbathon.
Continuing along the event route, the City of Buena Park and the City of Anaheim hosted a 1.5 mile open streets event on Beach Blvd. from La Palma Ave. to Orange Ave. allowing residents to bike, walk, roll, or stroll between the two cities for the first time. At an opening ceremony at the intersection of Beach Blvd. and Stanton Ave., joining the two cities’ borders, Southern California Association of Governments President Bill Jahn commented “We are so excited to welcome Meet on Beach as part of our Go Human campaign and one of the first steps to encouraging Orange County residents to walk and bike along Beach Boulevard. Through events like these, we hope to help residents reimagine their neighborhoods and create safer, healthier cities and ultimately reduce traffic collisions for our communities along the route.”
The elected city representatives welcomed event-goers and shared the significance of the open streets event as it relates to the revitalization of Beach Boulevard and the future impact it will have on active transportation. The ceremony was followed by the official opening of the car-free stretch of Beach Boulevard complete with music and dance performances and a pop-up hockey skating rink. All activities brought new life to the street and transformed it into a vibrant public space for thousands of pedestrians, bicyclists, and people utilizing other forms of non-motorized transportation.
Beach Boulevard continued to come alive throughout the day as event-goers walked and biked through a hands-on workshop at Stanton’s Walkable Streets Lab. Attendees were invited to experience all-new street furniture and attempt the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge in the form of an inflatable obstacle course from America on Track. In Garden Grove, families enjoyed oversized lawn games, a rock wall, local food trucks and an inflatable obstacle course before heading to Westminster’s Civic Center for a fun, active, and healthy community fair complete with a kids activity zone and bike skills rodeo course.
The day-long community celebration culminated with a party on the sand in Huntington Beach with local food, live musical performances from the Ramsey Brothers Band, BMX demonstrations, a bike rodeo by the Huntington Beach Police Department, and an endurance course.
Meet on Beach offered an unparalleled opportunity to reimagine the boulevard as a more active, walkable, and bikeable street. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) encouraged participants to go car-free for the whole day and ride to each of the Meet on Beach events by providing free OC Bus day passes through their OC Bus Mobile app.
Meet on Beach was created as part of larger efforts from the Renew Beach Boulevard Coalition, the seven-city alliance behind the economic revitalization and transformation of the shared corridor. Designed to be a first step towards positioning the Boulevard for lasting and future economic development opportunities, Meet on Beach offered enrichment of the social, civic, and economic well-being of the surrounding neighbors and residents. Meet on Beach was presented by the Southern California Association of Governments’ (SCAG) Go Human campaign in partnership with the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee and produced by Community Arts Resources.
For more information on Meet on Beach, visit meetonbeach.com.
This article was released by Meet on Beach.