The event will offer the public a unique opportunity to experience safe and temporary car-free streets and roads

Staff Report

BUELLTON — A mile of the Avenue of Flags in the City of Buellton will be car-free on May 21 as part of the first Open Streets event for the greater Santa Ynez Valley.  

The Santa Ynez Valley Healthy Eating Active Living Coalition (HEAL) will host the Open Streets event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., located on the Avenue of Flags in Buellton. 

The event will be prominently featured as part of CycleMAYnia in Santa Barbara County. CycleMAYnia is a month-long celebration with activities and events during National Bike Month. The celebration reaches thousands of cyclists and community members throughout the month of May led by Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) Traffic Solutions division. 

The Santa Ynez Valley Open Streets event is made possible through the support of the City of Buellton, Measure A Santa Barbara County’s Transportation Sales Tax Measure, and local sponsors, including Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Cottage Health, Visit Santa Ynez Valley, Buellton Chamber of Commerce, Solvang Chamber of Commerce, and more.  

“We’re incredibly excited to bring this event to the Santa Ynez Valley,” said Valerie Kissell, chief executive officer, People Helping People and the fiscal sponsor for the HEAL Coalition. “We have had to move the date of the event, but the city of Buellton in rescheduling has been incredibly supportive and we look forward to the community coming out and supporting this inaugural event.” 

As avid supporter of Open Streets events in Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann shared, “While our streets and roads often prioritize motorized vehicles, Open Streets events remind us that our streets and roads are public spaces that can be repurposed to promote active transportation, such as walking and biking. These public spaces can also bring people together to celebrate and showcase all the great things that promote health and wellness. “

The city will shut down a nearly mile-long section from Damasa to State Route 246 to vehicles and open it up for pedestrians and bikers to enjoy and will include street music, family-friendly physical fitness activities, wellness themed activities hosted by local businesses and organizations.

There is still time to sign up to sponsor or participate in the Open Streets event. Organizers anticipate more than 2,000 attendees will attend the new event.  

“Business organizations and community members can still sponsor the event or sign up to bring a fun activity or contest,” said Kissell.

Those interested in signing up to sponsor or participate as a vendor in Open Streets are encouraged to find information on the Santa Ynez Valley Open Streets website:

Santa Barbara County Association of Government Traffic Solutions division has hosted or supported community-led events across the county including in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Guadalupe, and Carpinteria. 

For more information, go to or contact Zohe Felici,, or call (805) 895-3402.

Kids enjoy running down the street in Santa Barbara during a past Open Streets event. Contributed Photo