Downtown Barrie gets set to kick off Open Air Dunlop on June 19

More dates have been penciled in pending provincial health and safety regulations

Calling all pedestrians, cyclists and rollerbladers.

The Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) launches its second round of Open Air Dunlop on June 19. Dunlop Street East will be closed to vehicular traffic between Mulcaster and the Five Points intersection.

Open Air Dunlop began last year as a way to bring people to the downtown and to assist local merchants with their pandemic recovery efforts.

“We are creating a safer and physically distanced space for the public to enjoy while they’re downtown supporting our amazing local businesses,” said Kelly McKenna, Executive Director of the BIA. “Open Air Dunlop brought tens of thousands to our downtown core over five Saturdays last year and we can’t wait to see how this year’s much longer event supports our area’s economic reopening.”

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation stations will be provided along Dunlop Street East along with signage with reminders of recommended health and safety measures that the public are asked to follow, including physical distancing, washing hands often and wearing masks.

“While downtown supporting our one-of-a-kind shops or relaxing on one of our 20+ award-winning restaurant patios, there will also be plenty of activities to enjoy including self-guided public art tours, self-guided historic walking tours and self-guided Barrie-by-Bike tours! The public is also welcome to check out the Barrie Farmers’ Market, Theatre By The Bay’s ghost tours, or to simply grab a coffee and enjoy the views of sparkling Kempenfelt Bay.” the BIA said in a media release.

Other dates through October have been pencilled in for Open Air Dunlop but with unanswered questions about the current stay-at-home order, the BIA said the event will “welcome increased activation as provincial health and safety regulations ease.”

A staff report to city council earlier this year said Open Air Dunlop 2020 was considered a success with 80 per cent of businesses seeing an increase in foot traffic and 70 per cent indicating increased sales.

The city will cover up to $60,000 in funding to support the road closures.