City College Times

Viva Calle

City of San Jose hosts rider friendly event

Joshua Sambrano, Times Staff

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Streets from Lake Cunningham Park to Japantown were filled with San Jose residents on bicycles, skateboards, scooters and even on foot, all participating in Viva Calle; a 7.3-mile stretch of blocked off roads.

The event’s goal was to bring a sense of community to San Jose, by allowing residents to intermingle and have fun in their city. It also benefited establishments, as they used the event as a marketing tool to promote their products or services with residents. Most of which might not have taken the time to explore the side streets of San Jose on their own.

“This event is free marketing for us, and other businesses on the street. Now, new potential customers are aware that we are here and have a new place in mind to get a haircut,” said Jose Mares, a barber who works at a shop along the course.

Churches also took the marketing opportunity to introduce their parish staff and community. One church passed out snow cones and welcomed those who stopped by to visit their upcoming mass. Some even had “Jesus Loves You” written on the street to give passer-byers a positive message.

Viva Calle’s route went past San Jose’s City Hall, where chalkboards were placed asking those who stopped by questions, such as “How can we make San Jose more welcoming?” People took this opportunity to voice their opinions, with responses ranging from “Make San Jose more tourist friendly” and “GO GREEN!!”

At Roosevelt Park, the powerful voices and instruments of a local mariachi band was accompanied by the visual of trained horses preforming choreographed steps, directed by the cowboy or cowgirl on top. People gathered around, phones in hand, to record this rare opportunity to witness such a performance.

“This event was a success in bringing the community together; people of San Jose came and participated in a fun event,” expressed a 67-year-old San Jose native, Victor Espino, “I think it should be noted that it didn’t take a tragedy to feel as though we can come together.”

As evening came, the cones that blocked the entrance to the streets were removed allowing traffic to flow as normally, fully demonstrating the event had come to an end.

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