Downtown District wraps up summer programming with rock climbing, yoga and paddle boarding

Photo courtesy of Downtown District
Photo courtesy of Downtown District

Before the long-awaited summertime kisses us a warm goodbye, the Iowa City Downtown District will host three adventurous activities in the downtown Pedestrian Mall this weekend. Iowa City and surrounding area residents can choose to participate in rock climbing, outside yoga or paddle boarding. All three events are free, open to the public and on a first come, first served basis at the Black Hawk Mini Park.

The weekend will begin with climbing a 24-foot wall — for both the experienced and the not — on Friday and Saturday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. All equipment will be provided for the ImOn Communications-sponsored event. Outside yoga will take place Sunday morning from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. About 10 people will practice yoga on paddle boards in the water, while others participate outside the pool. Following the one-hour session is paddle boarding from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The three activities are part of Open Washington, a campaign designed in February that included a fencing art project and a schedule of summer events.

“The purpose of Open Washington was to encourage people to activate the space during the construction,” said Director of Operations of Downtown District Betsy Potter. “We wanted to make sure people understand that Washington Street is open despite the construction … and that downtown is still very accessible.”

This weekend’s combination of wet and dry activities marks the last of Open Washington’s summer programming — which is the first of its kind put on by the Downtown District. The fencing art project, which prompts people to tie colorful ribbons on the fencing surrounding the construction to liven the look of the area, will continue throughout the remainder of the construction.

“We’ve had an extraordinary response to the Open Washington campaign this summer,” Potter said. “We’re really excited about these last events going on.”

Despite the closing of the summer events, Iowa Citians can look forward to fall activities and festivals in the same area, such as the upcoming Taste of Iowa City.