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Thousands of cyclists and pedestrians on Sunday took over Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena for the first CicLAvia bike festival to be held outside Los Angeles, officials said.

The popular festival, which is held in different locations throughout the year, is intended to encourage people to abandon their cars for the day to explore their environment on bikes, skateboards or on foot, organizers said. The idea is to promote a clean environment and good health.

The event, which began at 9 a.m., runs until 4 p.m. The 3.5-mile route runs along Colorado Boulevard, between Fair Oaks and Bonnie avenues, with links on Raymond Avenue and Lake Avenue that will take participants to local parks.

“It’s amazing already,” CicLAvia spokesman Robert Gard said early Sunday. “There are also a lot of people who are walking today, which is very cool to see.”

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