The big question for most visitors to this year’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium on Saturday, July 10th is almost certain to be some form of, “What do we do first?” While the day is centered on the pro cycling race, the excitement extends way beyond that event. The Market Street Block Party is expected to once again be a popular gathering point for children of all ages with it plentiful choices of great food, music and a chalk-drawing contest for the kids. On High Street between Gay Street and Market Street, the annual Community Festival will be attracting spectators with a unique mix of local businesses, munchies and lots of surprises. If that’s not enough, many of the downtown restaurants will be opening up to the streets with alfresco dining and offering unique culinary selections for which West Chester is famous. For those who can’t stay in one place, there’s always the possibility of just roaming the historic downtown area with its endless array of boutiques, shops and interesting architecture. Everything gets started around 4 P.M.
All eyes will be on the start/finish line on Gay Street when the racing action gets started at 5 P.M. with the Kids’ Race, a heart-warming display of determination by the future generation of cycling champs between the ages of 3 and 10.
At 5:45 P.M. the Amateur Men’s Criterium will surely to draw the spectator’s interest as they watch local and regional racers compete for glory. And the Elite Women’s Criterium, which kicks off at 6:45, promises to once again be a fan favorite. The day culminates with the marquee event, the Pro Men’s Race where last year 114 riders competed in this 60-lap race through the streets of downtown, lined with over 20,000 spectators.
On Sunday, the fun continues, when the public is invited to join riders of all levels for recreational bike tours. Currently seven tours are planned, including tours of the historic buildings of West Chester, a winery tour and, for those who really love a challenge, Dick Sabo’s Hill Hell Tour. Rides will leave from Hoopes Park in West Chester with sign up beginning at 11:00 AM. Visit the website for more details on all the events at this year’s Iron Hill Twilight Criterium.
The Iron Hill Twilight Criterium is part of the USA CRITS Championship Series and is presented by the West Chester Cycling Classic, a subsidiary of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce.