35,000 locals celebrated open streets festival during European Week of Sport Denmark


One of the undoubted highlights of an active European Week of Sport in Denmark took place in the small town of Holstebro in western Denmark on Saturday 29 September. The event took inspiration from the Ciclovia’s of South America, as organisers DGI Vestjylland and Holstebro Kommune came together to ensure that the opening of a new 39km stretch of the Holstebro motorway was an occasion to get people active!

Now while the opening of a road that will see millions of cars use its asphalt over its lifetime may not at face value appear to be an opportunity to encourage physical activity it did just that. The way in which they did it? Before the road was opened to cars it was open to people for a whole day.

The town of 35,000 people was the host of an enormous cultural festival, the heart of which was located on the new motorway. Hundreds of stands were erected across an area of kilometres, with local food and drink vendors setting up shop alongside sports clubs and health organisations.

The result? There was something to do for everyone, and plenty of fuel within reaching distance so that people could stay at the event all day long. A stage at an intersection provided constant entertainment for the younger individuals in attendance, with puppet shows, singers and dancers captivating the crowd constantly.

Around a kilometre up the road another stage had DJs and popular bands, as well as a children’s choir over the course of the day. Add into this the “pop-up” events across the day that included gymnastics, a performance from the Royal ballet school, and hip-hop dancing, and it is easy to understand how the whole area had a party feel as the road turned into an enormous social event, and people from all ages and walks of life got involved and had smiles put on their faces.

But it was not just food, drink and culture that got people involved. The main attractions of the day were of the physical variety, as an abundance of races were organised that were diverse enough to allow everyone to find something that both suited them, and got them excited to get out on the road!

30km and 60km cycling races and the half-marathon run were the races that seemed to attract the most attention… apart from the children’s sprint race that is. Parents, families and friends cheered them on as hundreds of children under the age of 10 sprinted 400m in frantic style, showing that sport not only releases endorphins of the participants, but also the spectators!

There were also roller-skating races, and walking races over the course of the day, and around the town events such as a street handball tournament, football golf, archaeological walks and dance workshops got thousands of people to #BeActive.

More than 20,000 people got involved over the course of the day… alongside one Triangle man, who was one of the first to try out the new asphalt, running himself and cheering on other participants. A #BeActive stand was also in place, and many of those in attendance dropped by to learn more about the European Week of Sport, and pick up a range of free give-aways.

The event goes to show that anything and everything can be a good excuse to get moving, and that physical activity really does bring people closer together as a community!

Read more about the event: https://vejfestivest.dk/