An exciting change coming to the 2023 Busey Bank Edwardsville Rotary Criterium will mean a lot of moving parts for the festival and the City of Edwardsville – and it’s not just the hundreds of cyclists taking part in the races.
Among the biggest changes: This rain-or-shine cycling event and festival will get rolling several hours sooner than it has in past years, meaning impacted roads will close earlier that day.
The Land of Goshen Community Market also will shift gears, moving to a new location in Edwardsville just for that Saturday, and will partner with area organizations to offer an expanded lineup of activities.
The Busey Bank Rotary Criterium Festival will take place starting at noon on Saturday, Aug. 19, in downtown Edwardsville. For the first time, the Criterium will be the final race in the 2023 Illinois Cup, a showcase of the best cycling races in the state. Brian Mulhall, the race director and an Edwardsville Rotary member, said that change is a wonderful feather in the cap of the long-running series of professional and amateur races and should draw dozens more cyclists to take part.
But it also means the races must start earlier. For 2023, races will begin at noon and are expected to end about 7:30 p.m., following a five-turn route that careens throughout downtown streets.
The festival, including live music, food trucks and beverages, will continue long after the races end, running until 11 p.m. An Entertainment Zone will span St. Louis Street between North Main Street and North Second Street. Kids Zone, featuring a free art tent, free helmet fitting and giveaway and free ice cream and games, will run from 2 to 6 p.m. next to the Wildey Theatre, 252 North Main Street. There are also four free races for kids scheduled for 4 to 4:30 p.m. Parents can visit the “Racers” tab of the Criterium website to print a required waiver in advance.
To accommodate the races and festival, multiple streets will close at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, and should reopen by midnight. Detours will be marked. Street parking will be restricted prior to the closures. The impacted roads are:
- Main Street will be closed from Union Street to Park Union Street will serve as a detour on the north end of Main Street.
- Vandalia Street will be closed from Kansas Street to Benton Schwarz Street or Union Street will serve as detour roads.
- St. Louis Street will be closed from the Busey Bank area, 330 W. Vandalia Street, to North Main Street.
- North Second Street will be closed from Louis Street to High Street.
The City is a presenting sponsor of the event, which has been hosted by the Edwardsville Rotary Club since 2010 as a fundraiser for community projects. More information is available on the Rotary Criterium’s website.
Another neat feature of this year’s Criterium weekend is the one-day relocation of the Land of Goshen Community Market from its usual downtown site to the N.O. Nelson Complex, which is the Edwardsville campus of Lewis and Clark Community College at 600 Troy Road.
Market hours remain the same – 8 a.m. to noon – but the array of vendors will also include a chalk artist, special Market Sprouts activities, the Lewis and Clark college mascot and booths, and radio station WLCA will broadcast live on site. The Edwardsville Children’s Museum also will host special activities at the Nickel Plate Station, which is located at the N.O. Nelson complex and adjacent to Leclaire Field and the Children’s Museum. Learn more about that day’s special Goshen Market and activities on its website, goshenmarket.org, or on its Facebook event page.