Sunday Streets event brings Bastille Day, pet parade to Downtown Berkeley

Amanda Ramirez/Senior Staff

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On Sunday, Berkeley’s usually car-packed Shattuck Avenue was blocked off for the seventh annual Sunday Streets event from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The free event was held by the nonprofit Downtown Berkeley Association for the purpose of bringing the public together, according to the event website.

Sunday Streets is a part of the international Open Streets Project, which aims to shut down high-traffic areas for the enjoyment of the public, according to Matthew Jervis, director of marketing and vitality for the Downtown Berkeley Association. Berkeley’s street festivities included a family Bastille Day celebration, the second annual Downtown Berkeley Pet Parade, and Cornerfest, an outdoor music concert hosted by Cornerstone Craft Beer & Live Music.

According to Jervis, the reason the three events were thrown simultaneously was to make sure that there was “something here for everybody.”

“We have crafts for kids, we have bubbles, we have music and just general mayhem. That is kind of the way Berkeley rolls. I think that if you do one thing, you’re only getting the chance to reach one type of person,” Jervis said. “Doing Sunday Streets with vendors can be fun, but if you had a couple of other things in there, it just makes it more fun for more people.”

The Bastille Day celebration was centered around the corner of Center Street and Shattuck Avenue and featured stalls handing out French flags. A band played music on a stage overlooking a wide variety of activities and shows that were free to the public, including jugglers, an organic produce stall and a painting booth that let people create their own versions of Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings.

The pet parade began at 12:30 p.m., when owners and their dogs marched to the Cornerfest stage in costumes. Prizes from local businesses were awarded for best dressed pet, best dressed pet and owner, and best pet group combo.

According to best dressed pet and owner prize winner Ellice Richmond, taking part in the pet parade was a fun way to take her dogs for a walk, and the event also gave her the chance to meet up with people in the community.

“I think it’s good for people to get out and get into the streets and talk to one another,” Richmond said. “We ran into a lot of people we knew from different places, like people I used to see at the gym or people I see at the park with their dog.”

Contact Maria Alexander at [email protected].