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Emo holds third 'Open Streets'

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Now into its third year, Emo's annual “Open Streets” event continues to bring out participants to walk, shop and play down Front Street.

This year the event was held last Thursday (Aug. 3) from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and was presented by the Emo Recreation Program and the Best Start Hub.

Open Streets is an initiative that temporarily closes streets to automobile traffic and focuses on getting pedestrians out using the streets for walking, cycling, dancing, playing or socializing.

Front Street was closed from Florence Street to Queen Street to encourage people to park their cars and walk to the many activities in front of the local businesses.

Organizers from the Best Start Hub estimated that around 60 to 80 children attended and participated in the events, which they thought was a very good turnout.

Activities for the children included a water station, moon sand, limbo, hula-hooping and a ring toss game and Melanie Williams of Party Rock DJ Services provided music for the street and got kids moving with some upbeat dance tunes.

The local fire department, led by fire chief Joshua Colling, made themselves available to hand out free gifts to kids, show off the fire truck and other equipment, and let kids try out the fire hose by spraying water down the river bank.

A few of the Front Street businesses had sidewalk sales and a local vendor was also set up selling hand sewn items to those passing by.

New Gold had an information booth set up and Rainy River Meats was barbecuing for those looking to purchase a lunch.

Organizers at the Best Start Hub said they are very happy with the event and plan on getting even more stations and activities for the kids next year.

They said the moon sand and the water station were very popular and that they would like to get more activities to bring the children outside to play in the streets and get active.

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