In a few weeks, hundreds of cyclists racing at break-necking speeds, kids busy with fun activities, and scores of spectators clanging cowbells will flood the streets of Downtown Edwardsville, Illinois for TheBANK of Edwardsville Rotary Criterium Festival.
Now entering its ninth year, this fast-paced, unique community event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 18. The event annually draw thousands of spectators for an afternoon and evening of high speed entertainment, and local food and drink, which begins at 3 and runs until about 11 pm.
Sanctioned by USA Cycling and hosted by the Edwardsville Rotary Club, the City of Edwardsville and Edwardsville Township, TheBANK of Edwardsville Rotary Criterium Festival features the following:
• Seven 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 pm. Once again, there will be a $10,000 purse – one of the largest one-day payouts for a bike race in the region. Race Sponsors include: Anderson Hospital, Gori Julian & Associates / Gori, Realtors®, Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery, Plocher Construction, World Wide Technology, Contegra Construction, 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 11 years. Registration for the Kids Races will take place between 3:00 – 5:00 pm at the intersection of Main & Vandalia Streets. Online registration is also available on the Criterium website. The Kids Races will begin at 5:15 p.m. Helmets are required.
• An exciting new feature to the Criterium is the Downtown Dash. Participants based on two separate skill levels will run two laps on the course (1.4 miles). The foot races will begin at 6 p.m. and runners can register on the Criterium website. These races are sponsored by The Center For Advanced Orthopedics and Mid America Institute of Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery.
• As the 2018 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.
• First Mid Bank & Trust is once again partnering with the Edwardsville Arts Center for the “Pedal & Paint Art Tent” where kids of all ages can create free artwork. Last year nearly 400 children took home an original work of art.
• New additions for children and families include local business We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym, and The Watershed Nature Center will have activities for children to enjoy.
• 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 racing.
• The Homefield Energy “Food Zone” featuring a large covered seating area and some of Edwardsville’s favorite local restaurants.
• Global Brew will be providing liquid refreshments at two locations on the race route.
Other sponsors for the event include: Mathis, Marifian & Richter – Volunteer & Run. Cassens & Sons – Pace Car. Cassens Transport – Payouts Table. JF Electric – Power & Light. Impact Strategies – Registration Table. Metro East Parks & Recreation District – Officials Table. Cyclery & Fitness Center of Edwardsville – Wheel Pit. Republic Services – Waste Removal. Sunbelt Rentals – Generators
Details about the 2018 event can be found by visiting www.CriteriumEdwardsville.com or finding “Edwardsville Rotary Criterium” on Facebook.