“We joined SCCA to learn from and work with other successful businesses in the Seward neighborhood.”
SCCA Member: Jim Welna, Welna II Hardware

Franklin Open Streets Wrap Up

 Open Streets Franklin Logo


Scaffolding&FurnitureAfter much preparation over many months and meetings, the first-ever Open Streets MPLS event on Franklin Ave took place on Sunday August 17th. At the event you could have seen everything from puppies in a wading pool, bicycles towing living-room furniture, a player piano performing renditions of the YMCA song, build-it-yourself bird houses, dunk tanks, free Zumba classes, a pop up farmers market, and much, much more!

The 6-hour-22-block event saw some rain, but overall was a huge success for the participating businesses as well as the surrounding community. Despite the rain, people stayed out interacting with their neighbors and local business owners while enjoying the freedom to stand in the middle of Franklin Ave. without fear getting hit by a vehicle. There was so much to see and do, it was difficult to make it down the entire stretch. It took some people four hours to make it from 27th Ave to the Franklin LRT Station.


photo 5Some successes included an increase in sales and business for many of the Franklin businesses including the Seward Co-op and Tracy’s. The Open Streets Bingo Game was quite effective, and many business owners reported people visiting their location to get their bingo card stamped.  Zipp’s owner Jennifer Schoenzeit did an amazing job hosting four different businesses in their parking lot, while Soberfish and Steady Tattoo had plenty of fun kids activities to keep the little ones engaged. The Seward Co-op was excited to connect people with their newly acquired Creamery Building, and gave tours throughout the day to interested parties.

On the Phillips side of Cedar, there were also many fun and engaging activities going on. The Bedlam Theatre hosted a pop-up living room, and a musical performance. Peavey Park had a stage set up with various performances happening all day. On Franklin and 11th Ave, people were able to design and create their own community, with large cardboard boxes set up along a chalk-drawn street and art supplies to decorate the boxes as a commercial corridor. The question asked: “What would you like to see in your community?” People had the opportunity to draw the businesses and institutions they feel would enrich their communities – this included everything from a barber shop (much needed in Phillips), to a family wellness center, to an additional Electric Fetus retail store.Kids at Living Room

Thanks to everyone that made Franklin Ave Open Streets a success! This was a community-based event that has a community-wide impact. The event not only connected businesses with the neighborhood residents, but it served as an opportunity to encourage the businesses along Franklin to work together in collaboration for the common goal of enhancing  and bridging the two neighboring communities, Phillips and Seward. Among all the fun activities and business exposure, the underlying theme and overall benefit of the block party was community engagement and enrichment.

To see more photos of Franklin Open Streets MPLS, check out the Open Streets Photo Narrative also featured in the newsletter!



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