Open Newbury Street was back for its first Sunday of 2021 on August 15, where residents and visitors alike roamed Newbury Street in the middle of the road to explore offers and opportunities from businesses and restaurants. The city will again transform Newbury Street into a pedestrian-only walkway while creating new retail opportunities for businesses on the street when Open Newbury Street returns on Sundays, Aug. 22 and 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
After a tough year for businesses, the event brought much-needed relief and allowed for many people to experience what stores offer without having to worry about capacity limits in small stores as well as provided outdoor dining options.
“It lends a really fun atmosphere for the whole street — everybody is in a good mood, everyone is smiling, everyone is excited to see what merchants are doing.” Kathy Palmer, President of The Fish & Bone pet supply shop, said in a statement on the City’s website. “[Merchants] are excited to open up again: our stores are very small so it was hard to have capacity limits in the last year. Having the ability to bring your brand out onto the street in open air where everyone is safe and there’s no fear of being too close, that really helps!”
Open Newbury Street features everything from local artists and jewelers to pet items, fresh lemonade, clothing sales, and this year, even a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Many stores featured sidewalk sales and tables displaying merchandise for sale, and the outdoor nature of the event helps with social distancing.
““I’m especially excited to kick-off Open Newbury Street as we look for ways to hold space for collective joy and imagination,” Acting Mayor Janey said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting businesses by providing space for them to engage customers in creative ways. I hope residents and visitors will be able to experience all that Open Newbury Street has to offer.”
For upcoming Open Newbury Street events, Newbury Street will be open to pedestrians and closed to from Berkeley Street to Massachusetts Avenue. Parking will be restricted on Newbury Street and adjacent streets with enforcement beginning at 5:00 a.m.; signs will be posted informing drivers of the change. The City also said on its website that in September, more open streets events will be announced in other neighborhoods, and it is also thinking about adding more dates for Open Newbury Street next month, “pending analysis and feedback.”