Santa Monica’s open streets celebration will return Sept. 15, turning two miles of streets into a car-free haven.

COAST will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and feature live music, food, art and activities, including the creation of a communal mural highlighting car-free mobility, a roller rink and skate workshops. The festival will close Ocean Avenue from Wilshire Boulevard to Colorado Avenue, Colorado Avenue from 5th Street to Ocean Avenue and Main Street from Colorado Avenue to Pier Avenue.

“COAST creates a car-free public space that allows the community to experience our streets as places for community and creativity, not just for cars,” said city of Santa Monica spokesperson Constance Farrell.

Big Blue Bus will offer free rides on all routes all day Saturday so attendees can get to the event more easily, and bike rentals will be available at multiple locations along the festival route. A free bike valet will be provided at the Farmers Market at Ocean Park and Main Street.

Car-free days across the United States, including Los Angeles’ CicLAvia, have been inspired by Ciclovia, a program in Bogata, Colombia, that closes 76 miles of streets every Sunday and holiday. Ciclovia is believed to be the biggest and most frequent mass recreation event in the world, requiring about a thousand volunteers every week to orchestrate.

COAST takes six months, hundreds of city staffers and about $400,000 to plan and implement. Almost 200 city employees volunteered at the event in 2017.

While only 15% of Santa Monica residents went to the festival, according to a city survey, it drew more than 40,000 people that year. The city has not yet released attendance data for the 2018 festival.

For the first time this year, attendees can create or decorate their a realistic or fanciful car-free way to get around and show it off at the festival to win prizes in six entry categories around innovation, creativity, teamwork, and how people-powered it is.

Winners will receive gift certificates to some of Santa Monica’s Most Loved Businesses. Judging will take place from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in front of the Civic Auditorium at 1855 Main St.

See below for a list of other programming highlights.

Join visual artist Molly Allis in the creation of a large communal mural highlighting car-free and imaginative forms of mobility.
Location: Ocean Avenue at the intersection of Broadway

Try skate course workshops with Keen Ramps Skateboard Zone, or watch demonstrations and tricks performed by professional skateboarders.
Location: Main Street between Pico Boulevard and Bay Street

Dragon Knights ensemble wows with their imaginative street and circus performances on stilts and human-powered conveyances.
Location: Strolling Ocean Avenue between Wilshire Boulevard and Colorado Avenue

Ocean Avenue will feature two strolling groups: Mariachis Lindas Mexicanas, one of Southern California’s top mariachi bands, and California Feetwarmers, masters of ragtime, Dixieland blues and early swing.
Location: Strolling Ocean Avenue between Arizona Avenue and Colorado Avenue

Roll into the disco lifestyle at the free COAST Roller Rink complete with disco, funk and groovy music. Free skate rentals available.
Location: Ocean Avenue between Wilshire Boulevard and Arizona Avenue

Observe or participate in the Giant Puppet Parade led by artist Beth Peterson and created by the community. The parade will feature live music by the Los Angeles-based Latin folk group Cuñao.Location: The parade will begin at 11 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium and return at 12:30 p.m. to the Civic Auditorium. Second parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. and return at 3:15 p.m.

madeleine@smdp.com