EDWARDSVILLE – High speed bike racing, live music, kids races, a children’s art tent and favorite restaurants will take to the streets of Downtown Edwardsville on Saturday, Aug. 20, for The Bank of Edwardsville Rotary Criterium Festival.
Now entering its seventh year, this signature community event draws thousands of spectators for a unique afternoon and evening that begins at 3 p.m. and runs until about 11 p.m. Sanctioned by USA Cycling and hosted by the Edwardsville Rotary Club, the city of Edwardsville and Edwardsville Township, The Bank of Edwardsville Rotary Criterium Festival features the following:
• Eight high-speed professional and amateur bike races on a 0.7 mile loop course with seven challenging turns on the closed-off streets of Downtown Edwardsville. Racing begins at 3 p.m. and the last race, the Cat 1 /2 pro racers, begins at 9 p.m. Once again, there will be a $10,000 purse – one of the largest one-day payouts for a bike race in the region. Current race sponsors include: Anderson Hospital, Scott Credit Union and Hortica.
• Four free Kids Races, sponsored by the Edwardsville Wrestling Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes will be held in the categories: 3 and under, 4-6 years, 7-8 years, and 9-10 years. Registration for the Kids Races will take place between 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the intersection of Main and Vandalia Streets. The Kids Races will begin at 6:45 p.m. Helmets are required.
• Three regional bands will take the Criterium Concert Stage, sponsored by: Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Bank of Springfield, Glen Carbon Banking Center and Madison Mutual. The first band, “Old Salt Union” plays a mix of “newgrass” and Americana and will play from 4 to 6 p.m. Next, Edwardsville’s own “Exit 12” will play from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Finally, St. Louis-based “Jake Gehret & the Brokedown Sound” will close the evening from 8:30 to 11 p.m. with MoTown sound.
• First Clover Leaf Bank is once again partnering with the Edwardsville Arts Center for the “Pedal & Paint Art Tent” where kids of all ages can create free bike-related artwork on a canvas. Last year, nearly 400 children took home an original work of art.
• Thanks to an “Open Containers Perimeter,” on Main Street, visitors to downtown’s establishments can purchase beverages in plastic containers and step onto the sidewalk to watch the race or enjoy the music.
• This year’s event will be adding a new feature: the Homefield Energy “Spokes & Spoons Food Zone.” The Food Zone will feature a large covered seating area, six local restaurants and two regional food trucks. Those restaurants are: Peel, Wang Gang, Catrinas, Social Gastopub, Joe’s Pizza, and Shannon’s.
• As the 2016 Presenting Safety Sponsor, Edwardsville Township will also be hosting a helmet fitting and giveaway for children in the Kids Zone area located near the intersection of Main and Vandalia.
Details about the 2016 event can be found by visiting www.EdwardsvilleCriterium.com or finding “Edwardsville Rotary Criterium” on Facebook.
— From the Illinois Business Journal