Santa Monica’s open streets festival, Coast, returns this weekend with a two-mile stretch of car-free activities along Ocean Ave and Main St.

Ocean Avenue will be closed from Wilshire to Colorado, Main Street will be closed from Colorado to Marine and the Colorado Esplanade will be closed to traffic from 5th Street up to and including the Pier from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Instead of the usual traffic, the streets will feature interactive activities, music and events.

“This year we’ve made some really exciting changes and the programming is about encouraging people to explore from one end of the route to the other and there’s going to be all kinds of participatory experiences,” said Cultural Affairs Supervisor Allison Ostrovsky.

She said the focus will be on mobility, sustainability and art.

“We want to get people to think differently about their mobility options about sustainability. This year we have a lot of large-scale art installations, we have a lot of hands-on workshops for all ages.”

The first Coast event coincided with the opening of the Expo Line in 2016 and drew about 50,000 people. Attendance fell last year to about 40,000 participants and the 2018 event has been revised with feedback from the past two years. Attendees said they wanted more interactive events and less static information presentations.

“People like having experiences you can participate in and there a lot more of those along the routes,” said Ostrovsky.

This year features some open dance jams, participatory music events and several art pieces that will take shape with the help of residents including a large mural that will be composed of individually colored thumbprints. Coast attendees will become part of a performance art piece at about 11:30 a.m. when they will be arranged into patterns that when viewed from above will form a mobility themed image designed by a local student.

“It’s about the element of surprise and delight happing upon something you might not have known about,” said Ostrovsky.

Also new this year is an integration with the Pier. The final Twilight on the Pier concert will be held at a special day and time (Oct. 7 at 5 p.m.) to coincide with Coast. The grand finale of the revamped shows will serve as an after party to the open streets event.

Parking restrictions along the route will be in effect on Oct. 7 from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and there will be no access to/from driveways along the route. Residents or businesses with concerns about access on the day of the event can contact Community Arts Resources (CARS): (213) 365-0605 or send an email to On October 7 only, if you have an urgent issue call the Santa Monica non-emergency dispatch at (310) 458-8491. Additional parking information is available online at or

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