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EDWARDSVILLE - As much as the 13th annual Edwardsville Rotary Criterium Festival, presented by Busey Bank, Is looked forward to every year by the race organizers, riders and spectators alike, there's one event during the festival that's the most highly anticipated - and in some ways, the feature races - every year.

The Kids Races, dubbed as The Most Important Race In The World by the festival organizers, again took center stage under a beautiful sunny sky and ideal warm weather, with a good breeze blowing at times at approximately halfway mark of the festival in downtown Edwardsville.

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It's almost like the ultimate race, as kids of all ages raced their bikes, and in some cases, scooters, in the races. For those who didn't have them, helmets were provided to the young racers, who were encouraged along the course by their parents and other adults.

There were four races in this year's program, with the first three on a straight-ahead course toward the start-finish line. Every racer was declared the winner for finishing the system, to the delight of the fans who lined the course to watch the kids give their all.

In the final race, older kids got to do an entire lap of the race course, and again, all the racers were declared winners as they crossed the start-finish line.

The final number of racers was unavailable, but rest assured, all the riders and their families were treated to a day and competition that all the racers will never forget.

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