This year's PARK(ing) Day street festival marks the third year of Saskatoon citizens taking to the streets to repurpose metered parking stalls and collectively reimagine the way we design public spaces in our city. Riversdale's 20th Street West came alive on September 19th with strong public attendance, unique PARK(ing) Day stalls, civic speeches and exceptional music performances throughout the day.
PARK(ing) Day itself is a global phenomenon, but Saskatoon's PARK(ing) Day festival has its origins right here at The Two Twenty, an initiative brought to life by a handful of our members. And although the festival has grown and evolved, The Two Twenty and its members continue to help organize and take part in the fun, year after year.
Like any good social event, though, no single person or entity can pull it off alone and PARK(ing) Day is no exception. The Two Twenty was a single element on a long list of participants. Local business and residents all did their part to help champion the spirit of the event and animate the street. Stalls of all varieties lined a stretch of Riversdale's commercial corridor, and with absence of cars parked along the street, people showed up and filled the void.
In the end, PARK(ing) Day itself may be a one day affair, but the impact certainly reaches farther. City streets are public places that, if designed as "Complete Streets", can facilitate gatherings, spark good connections, conversations and help create a sense "place" that people will want to be a part of and live in. Interestingly enough, it doesn't take much to get things started. A few benches to sit on and some greenery can go a long way in making streets more people-focused.