South Elm Street downtown will be closed to vehicles on Friday evening and Saturday to allow people to enjoy a pedestrian-friendly street experience.

Downtown Greensboro Inc. is calling it “Open Streets,” and it definitely is not a parade, fair or festival, since all of those are banned by Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 155, which continued the restrictions of Executive Order 141 that went into effect on May 22 and is now scheduled to be in effect until at least Sept. 11.

But whatever the Open Streets event is called, people are being invited to come to South Elm Street in downtown Greensboro from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, and noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7 to stroll down the street, have a meal or a beverage from one of the restaurants or make a purchase from a retail establishment.

The restaurants will have outdoor tables and shops will be having sidewalk sales. Bars are still closed by Cooper’s executive order and alcohol may only be consumed while seated at a restaurant table.

South Elm Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from Market Street to Lewis Street, which makes for a pretty good walk.

People who participate in the “Open Streets” event are asked to wear masks when not eating or drinking, to maintain social distancing and to wash their hands frequently. Of course, those who think they may be coming down with something are asked to stay home.

Participating restaurants include: 1618 Downtown, Baked Downtown, Blue Denim, Crafted – Art of the Taco, Green Bean, Grey’s Tavern, Lao, Little Brother Brewing, Natty Greene’s and White and Wood.

Participating shops include: Aspen Boutique, Bliss & Co. Crooked Tail Cat Café, Design Archives, Gate City Candy, Hudson’s Hill, J Mart, Just Be, Lee + Wrangler, Oscar Oglethorpe, Polish and Threads, Terra Blue, Thousands Prints, Vintage to Vogue, Vivid, Rock’s Hair Shop, ReAligned, Stolen and Stitch-FX.

Parking on the street is currently free downtown and parking in the city parking decks is free from 6 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and all day Saturday.