EDWARDSVILLE - In less than two months, hundreds of cyclists racing at break-neck speeds, scores of kiddos donning helmets or painting pictures, and thousands of spectators clanging cowbells will flood the streets of Downtown Edwardsville, Illinois for TheBANK of Edwardsville Rotary Criterium Festival.
Now entering its eighth year, this fast-paced, unique community event will take place on Saturday, August 19, 2017 and promises to once again draw thousands of spectators for an afternoon and evening of high speed entertainment, and local food and drink, which 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, TheBANK 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 pm 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, Prairie Farms, Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery, Plocher Construction, Scott Credit Union, World Wide Technology, Contegra Construction, and Hortica.
- Four FREE Kids Races, sponsored by the Edwardsville Wrestling Club and the Fellowship of Christian briAthletes 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 – 6:30 pm at the intersection of Main & Vandalia Streets. The Kids Races will begin at 6:45 pm. Helmets are required.
- Three regional bands will take the Concert Stage, sponsored by: Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Bank of Springfield, Glen Carbon Banking Center, Donnewald Distributing and Madison Mutual. Edwardsville’s own “Exit 12” kicks off the afternoon from 3:00 – 4:30 pm. Next, another local favorite, “Robert Perry Band with the Original Mojos” will play from 5:00 – 7:30 pm. Finally, “Old Salt Union” is returning with their unique mix of “newgrass” and Americana from 8:00 - 10:30 pm.
- First Mid Illinois 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!
- 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.
- The Homefield Energy “Food Zone” featuring a large covered seating area and some of Edwardsville’s favorite local restaurants.
- As the 2017 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.
Other sponsors for the event include: Cassens Transport and the Metro East Park & Recreation District. The Pace Car is provided by Cassens & Sons, the Wheel Pit is provided by the Cyclery & Fitness Center of Edwardsville and the waste removal is provided by Republic Services.
Details about the 2017 event can be found by visiting www.CriteriumEdwardsville.com or finding “Edwardsville Rotary Criterium” on Facebook.