Open Streets St. Pete was today! Many of the downtown streets were closed to cars, and people walked, biked, unicycled, rode horses, skateboarded, etc… down the streets.
It was lovely.
A friend gave me a head’s up about the event a few weeks ago. I found out that Nomad Art Bus was going to be there, so I signed up to volunteer. The event was literally across the street from my apartment so I didn’t really have any excuse…
I met up with Carrie, the leader of Nomad, and I started refilling the paint tubs. I’m getting better at mixing the colors! I taped off the lights and license plate, so people would paint them. Soon people started coming to paint the bus, and I helped them with their aprons and told them the rules about painting.
It was nearly a steady stream from a little after noon until my shift ended at 2:30, and it looked like the stream would continue until the end!
We had superstars visit and paint the bus. Thunderbug contributed a “Go Bolts” to the rest of the art.
A police officer told use his horse could paint. Unfortunately our brushes weren’t strong enough for the horse, but the officer went back to the horse’s trailer and got his special brand of brushes and came back.
I guess Nomad Art Bus really does support “Art for All”!
Mascots and horses aside, the real superstars were the folks at the event who contributed their art to the bus. Some of them stating they can’t paint/draw. Some of them definitely saying they can. The little girls and boys who give no thoughts to their hair or outfits as they plunge into their art, almost literally. Some walked away with paint in their hair or on their clothes. No parents were worried. “Kids will be kids. They need to have fun!”
I couldn’t agree more. But for adults too!! Of which there were many who contributed to painting the bus.
After my volunteering shift was up, I walked around the rest of Williams Park to see the vendors and food trucks. I bought a Currito from Twisted Indian food truck. It was good, though the first few bites were just rice.
There was more going on around Mirror Lake, but I was pretty pooped from being out in the sun for 3-ish hours. I decided to go home, eat my Currito, and cool off before checking out the other things. I also took a nap, so I didn’t end up venturing out again…
This was the first year this particular event was help, but it is a nice reminder about why I wanted to move down here (even if I’m grumpy about some of the goings on). There’s so many things like the Open Streets event. And even on a normal day, I walk and bike way more than I ever did in Tampa.