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Parking Day makes its return

Artists, musicians, businesses and community groups will transform humdrum car parking spaces into creative hubs and al fresco gathering places tomorrow for the third annual Park(ing) Day.

The event, which is celebrated around the world, sees temporary public spaces cropping up around cities to promote creativity, civic engagement and social interaction.

Some spaces will be left open for “impromptu people parking”. City parks superintendent Steven DeSilva encourages people to “come out with folding chairs, picnic blankets and a game of cards, and read, do yoga, have lunch — whatever they choose, and relax right inside a parking bay”. He added: “One of our missions is to make the city more pedestrian friendly, and for that reason I think Park(ing) Day is a smart initiative. It has the definite effect of slowing down traffic. This day reminds people that city streets are not only the domain of motor cars.

“We noted from last year that this was a great interactive community event, and we invite everyone to come, slow down and relax for a short part of their day. We encourage environmentally friendly and simple, minimalist spaces as much as the elaborate highly designed displays.”

Bermuda’s event is being held on the day on Lower Reid Street and Court Street and is a joint venture between the Department of Planning and the Corporation of Hamilton.

Court Street’s involvement is bigger this year with two locations being used — parking bays are set aside between Jamaican Grill and the new sports bar (formerly Chewstick) and also outside of Magistrates’ Court. There will be henna tattoos, chess and checkers and local buskers.

Roxanne Christopher, Bermuda Economic Development Corporation’s economic development officer, said: “We’re collaborating with Bermuda Institute of Architects who are helping to design our Court Street locations. I encourage everyone to come and enjoy, spend a few minutes or hours, see the beauty of North East Hamilton and what we have to offer.”

• Application forms for formal set-ups are available from Julie Marshall at the Department of Planning at jamarshall@gov.bm. The deadline for entry has been extended to 5pm on Monday, September 14. A meeting of all participants who want support for their displays will be held on that Monday at 5.30pm.