A two-mile-long street fair called Open Streets will kick off Sunday morning on University Avenue in St. Paul.
The avenue will be closed to vehicles from Marion Street to Hamline Avenue. But the public is encouraged to come by bike, foot or skates.
The idea behind the Open Streets is to bring people back to University Avenue and support businesses that took a hit from light-rail construction. Construction on the Green Line, which runs from Minneapolis to St. Paul along University Avenue, is 96 percent complete.
Noel Nix, a city legislative aide who is running for City Council, is one of the organizers. He says many of the avenue's restaurants will be handing out recipe cards so that people can try making the dishes at home using ingredients bought from nearby grocers.
"We're hoping it doesn't taste quite as good as the restaurants on the avenue. But the grocery stores and the restaurants alike are what make University Avenue such a diverse and fantastic place to spend time," he said. "Of course, we have the introduction of light-rail. We've widened sidewalks and planted trees all up and down the avenue. It's really going to be a destination and less a thoroughfare to get between Minneapolis and St. Paul."
Green Line service is expected to begin sometime next year.