Festivals are abound during the warm weather months, no matter where you are. In the beautiful, picturesque Brandywine Valley, festivals are a way of life during these months. One of the biggest of the year comes this Saturday, August 2 in West Chester: the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium.
The Criterium, sponsored by the Iron Hill Brewery, is one of the largest pro bike races in the area and brings with it crowds and excitement to downtown West Chester. While the race itself is the main event, the Criterium brings with it a party of things to do for the entire family leading up to the race start at 7:45pm.
The day kicks off with a bang with the Kinetic Physical Therapy Community Festival at 4pm, which will feature many different activities to explore while in town for the race. There will also be a special meet and greet with WHYY-TV’s Mike McGrath, host of “You Bet Your Garden”, also at 4pm.
The party gets kicked up to an even higher notch when the Market Street Block Party gets into full gear. The block party is chock full of food, drink and ambience, as well as the opportunity for the kids to draw a chalk art masterpiece on the sidewalk.
From 4pm on as well, it is a steady diet of exciting bike races, starting with the West Chester Dental Kids Race, followed by the Twilight Trike Challenge at 4:45pm, where there are tricycle heats down Gay Street. The latter is definitely worth the trip in itself.
At 5:45pm, the action starts to heat up even more as the Rothman Institute Amateur Men’s Criterium kicks off to whet the appetite of the racing fans that have packed the West Chester streets. At 6:45pm, the Avante Salon Pro Women’s Criterium goes full force in what, according to the Criterium website, is one of the most important women’s bicycle races on the USA Cycling calendar.
Finally at 7:45pm, it’s time for the main event as the excitement in the West Chester streets gets ratcheted up to full throttle. This year, the Criterium will be the 9th of 10 races in the USA CRITS Championship Series, making the importance of the race even more vital for those participating. Expect no holds barred racing as the competition begins and ends at the intersections of Gay and High Streets.
The Brandywine Valley does events right, and the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium is no exception. If you have never experienced the excitement of a pro bicycle race and you are in the Valley, come to West Chester and be a part of something you will never forget.