Henderson to embark on inaugural day of car-free activities

Whether it is to stroll down the street on Rollerblades or bicycles, walk the pavement or even roll around in a giant hamster ball, the city of Henderson is opening up the path for all residents to experience a car-free Henderson for a day Nov. 9.

Its inaugural Stroll ’n Roll — a spin on the Ciclovia event, which originated in Bogota, Colombia — invites residents to take to the streets.

“We were looking at what type of events could get people out to participate in fun and healthy activities,” said Mary Ellen Donner, the director of the city of Henderson’s parks and recreation department who is helping to organize Stroll ’n Roll.

Though it started in Colombia, the event has been replicated in the United States.

According to the city of Henderson, this is the first time Nevada is trying its take.

Donner said this is a year in the making.

“We are all really excited for the event,” she said. “We just hope people come out and enjoy the free activities.”

The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Paseo Verde Parkway from Paseo Verde Park, 1851 Paseo Verde Parkway, to the Henderson Multigenerational Center, 250 S. Green Valley Parkway, is expected to be closed to motorized traffic for the event, allowing the community to enjoy 1 mile of open streets to stroll, bike, skate and play.

Three main hubs are expected to have activities: Paseo Verde Park, the Henderson Multigenerational Center and Discovery Park, 2011 Paseo Verde Parkway.

Donner said there are expected to be a variety of leisure and exercise classes for all ages, including Zumba and CrossFit.

“We have taken 25 spin bikes out of the (Multigenerational Center) so we can have a giant spin class,” she said.

The event also is slated to have free activities for children such as an arts and crafts station, bounce houses, face painting and demonstrations by specialized units of the Henderson police and fire departments.

Other features along the route are slated to include music, big wheel races, human hamster ball competitions and a bicycle obstacle course.

“People can just hit up one (hub) or go to all three,” Donner said.

Of all the offerings, Donner is most excited about the giant hamster balls at the event.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a full-grown adult in a hamster ball,” she said. “We came up with the idea as a cute take on the ‘roll’ part in Stroll ’n Roll. It’s going to be awesome.”

The idea of the event came out of the city’s goal to help residents access resources in the city that promote healthy living.

“Henderson Stroll ’n Roll is another fine example of Henderson’s commitment to health and wellness,” said Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen in a statement. “The event makes exercising more fun and accessible, bringing the community together to enjoy a day filled with unique and healthy recreational activities.”

The city hopes to put on this event at least twice a year.

“Our next date is tentatively scheduled for April 12,” Donner added.

This is also part of the city of Henderson’s efforts to become a more cyclist-friendly community.

Past events to further its efforts included a scavenger hunt for cyclists and a bike swap where participants traded and sold used bicycles, such as mountain bikes, BMX bikes and triathlon bikes and parts.

According to Nicole Johnson, a spokeswoman with the city of Henderson, about 2,000 people participated in the swap.

This is part of the city’s goal to be accredited by the League of American Bicyclists, an organization that promotes bicycle use for fun, fitness and transportation.

Henderson has been taking steps to enhance its application for the February 2014 submission. Stroll ’n Roll is one more tool the city hopes can enhance the submission.

For more information, visit cityofhenderson.com/parks.

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 702-387-5201.