Watch for Pedestrians
On Sunday, May 27th, the fourth year of Pedestrian Sunday's in Kensington Market - AKA PSKensington - kicks off for all you foot-powered enthusiast.
The day will be filled with home-grown events from local artists and business owners. Games for kids, shows for adults, public art installations, a fashion show, a ball hockey tournament... the list just goes on and on.
I had a chance to sit down with Shamez Amlani, one of the organizers of the festival (and owner of La Palette restaurant) to run down the reasons for having a car-free zone in the market and an overview of the day's events.
The first PS Kensington was actually not licensed by the city. "It took a little shit disturbing at first" says Amlani. "The first attempt five years ago, we just plugged the meters and took over parking spots down the street [Augusta]. And it was amazing to see the street fill with people, and the cars just turn away. To see a space that serves the mundane serve the commons."
"The catch-phase we use now when we talk about Pedestrian Sundays is 'Community, Culture and Ecology'. Its about the idea of community in general, all the cultures of the world - the diversity between age, status and so on, and ecology is obviously a big one. We focus on health in the total sense of the word, the health and well-being of not only people but the planet as well."
"We need to take back the street... and show people what it can be used for. And to tame the beast that is the automobile"
So what's on tap this year? Here's a brief overview of some of the events (by no means exhaustive, since you can't control art!):
- A 'group' pinata for kids
- The Kensington Catwalk Challenge ($25 gives you $50 "Kensington Bucks" and 30 mins. to shop and put together an outfit) on Kensington Street
- Various music, food and dance pavilions
- A free-for-all, 3-on-3 ball hockey tournament outside Ronnie's Local 069 [Nassau Street]
- Badminton on Nassau
- Roving bike repairs
- A marching drum band
- A celebration for the participants of the month long "car free challenge"
- Live bands in the evening
- Maypole Dance
- African dance instuction
PS events will be expanding to both Baldwin Village and Mirvish Village this summer. Its hoped that in the future, there will be a ready-made form neighborhood organizations can simply fill out a form to host car free days.
The days runs 1-7PM on most streets in the market, but is restricted to Augusta from 7-10PM. Bring and umbrella and have some fun on the street!
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