Post by Calhoun County Insight
Noble Street Festival
One of our favorite weekends of the year returns April 13. Noble Street Festival and Sunny King Criterium are back and better than ever. Arts, crafts, live music, games, food, and more will line the 900 and 1000 blocks of Noble Street in downtown Anniston. The family-friendly festival begins at 11:00 am and will wrap up at 7:00 pm.
“We have a great lineup of local artisans with booths, selling things from custom apparel to handmade jewelry,” says festival director Reilly Johnson. Noble Street Festival is free to attend; tickets may be purchased for various activities and events. As in years past, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Relay for Life. This event has raised more than $120,000 for Relay for Life to date. The 2019 donation goal is $10,000. Local and regional musicians will perform throughout the festival including Ed Protho, Stampede, Melanin Magic, Sherwood Seven Band, The StoneRollers, and The Natti Love Joys.
“The Peerless is hosting our music stage in front of the saloon, with live music going from 11:00 am to 6:30 pm,” Johnson says. “We will also have two live animal shows at the sound stage at 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm.” Animal shows are courtesy of the Anniston Museum of Natural History. The Kids Zone, sponsored by Sunny King Toyota, offers free rides. “We will also have Kids in the Kitchen, presented by the Junior League, and the Quality of Life Health Services Mobile Unit on site, as well as other kid-friendly activities.”
Bringing the whole family? Look for FidoFest stations set up along the festival route for your four-legged family members to take a rest and enjoy a cool drink. Food vendors will be located on the 1000 block near the Sunny King Criterium bicycle races, and a selection of beer and wine will be served at pop-up pubs along the festival route. There will be a “café area for people to enjoy eating and watching the races simultaneously.”
If you’ve been to Noble Street Festival before, you know that the fast-paced Sunny King Criterium races will get your blood pumping. Junior and elite riders return to Calhoun County each April for the Sunny King Crit, which is the first criterium race on the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour. You’re invited to tailgate around the race course and cheer on the racers speeding around every corner of the course. Bring chairs, blankets, coolers, and well-behaved dogs on leashes to watch the races which begin at 10:00 am.
Let your little ones get in on the competition by signing them up for the Mellow Mushroom Mad Dash 1K foot race and the Just for Fun Bike Race. The Sunny King Criterium is day one of a weekend of cycling. On Sunday, April 14, riders will compete in 81-mile and 40-mile races at the Piedmont Road Race. This weekend of racing is billed as the Alabama Cycling Classic.
Mellow Mushroom Mad Dash
A foot race to the finish! Ages 12 and younger, $6 ($10 day of ). Runners will receive a medal and a t-shirt. Be at the start line at 4:35 pm SHARP! Dash starts at 4:45pm.
YMCA Bike Race
Bicycles on the mark and go! Grade 6 and below, $6 ($10 day of ). Grades 5-6 ride the .7 mile race course. Riders will receive a medal and a t-shirt. Bring your own bicycle and helmet (required). Line up is at 5:25 pm SHARP! Race starts at 5:35 pm.
Day of registrations will be $10/event, and accepted until 3:00 pm. Registration and packet pickup is at Classic on Noble from 11:00 am 4:00 pm. All participants must check in to receive a t-shirt and race.
Check out the awesome carnival rides provided by Starwalk Enterprises! The Kid Zone, sponsored by Sunny King Toyota, will have carnival rides and games, art making stations and demos, exhibits and more!
Lunch and dinner options at Noble Street Festival include local favorites such as Mellow Mushroom and Bayour 2 Geaux and regional samplings like Hole in the Wall Food Truck from Atlanta and City Bowls Food Truck from Birmingham. Enjoy unique options from authentic cajun to hotdogs and pizza, all while dining al fresco.
- Mellow Mushroom Bake Bus
- City Bowls Food Truck
- Hammers Hotdogs
- Bayou 2 Geaux
- Supra Functional Food Bars
- Frios Gourmet Pops
- PJ Graham Catering
- Hole in the Wall Food Truck
Alabama Cycling Classic / Sunny King Criterium
The Alabama Cycling Classic returns to downtown Anniston for two days of cycling. The 17th annual Sunny King Criterium, held in conjunction with Noble Street Festival, is Saturday, April 13, and the Piedmont Road Race is Sunday, April 14.
The Sunny King Crit is the opening criterium on USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour. The high-speed contest attracts top talent from across the country. With 21 categorized races for various age groups and licensed riders, Saturday is packed full of racing for juniors and professionals.
The one-kilometer, four-turn course leads racers in a counter-clockwise direction from E. 11th Street to Wilmer Avenue,12th Street, Moore Avenue, and back to 11th. Adding to the excitement, the course crosses Noble Street, right in the middle of Noble Street Festival!
“The King organization is so proud to be a part of the Sunny King Criterium/Noble Street Festival since its beginning 17 years ago. What started as a local fundraiser has now become a huge community partnership making Anniston and North Alabama the pinnacle for biking in our State,” said Patty King, chairman of the board of Sunny King Automotive Group. “Relay for Life and other charities continue to benefit. The economic impact is significant.
The Sunny King Criterium/Noble Street Festival showcase our incredible natural beauty, as well as the generosity and determination of our amazing community. What can be more rewarding than that? And one more thing, it is a fun-filled day the entire family can enjoy together.” The second day of the Alabama Cycling Classic offers 40-mile and 81-mile competitions called the Piedmont Road Race. Due to popularity, there are more categories and larger payouts for the road races this year.
Race director, Marilyn Cullinane says, “The goal in 2020 is to increase to three days of racing. Depending on which new city we add and accounting for prize payout and budget for staff will determine if we are able to host a stage race in 2020.”
“The stage race, three-day race format would offer two road races; one point to point course, one criterium course and one loop road race course,” she explains. “Point to point, meaning from one city line to a new city line location.”
Cullinane commends the City of Anniston for hosting a “fantastic” one-day criterium saying, “one of my goals in stepping up to a stage race event is to increase the success and participation in the Sunny King Criterium… We need to keep building events around the Sunny King Criterium to increase awareness for our most prized, King of Crits criterium event.
“Thanks to the economic impact study conducted by Jacksonville State University several years ago, we know that the Alabama Cycling Classic has a significant economic impact, based on lodging stays and the number of people who attend or participate in the event. An estimated 5,000 people attend the event, and a sizable number stay at our local hotels and eat at our area restaurants. According to JSU’s survey, the Sunny King Criterium and Noble Street Festival have an estimated direct and indirect economic impact of over $600,000,” said Linda Hearn, manager of the Calhoun County Area Chamber and Visitors Center. “This level of tourism impact is a major reason why the Chamber’s tourism arm is an annual supporter of this event. Our understanding is the state’s tourism department is a large contributor to the event too, which only enhances the event’s reputation as a regional attraction.”
The Sunny King Criterium is managed by Start Smart Cycling out of South Carolina. The Noble Street Festival is managed by Main Street Anniston. Both are supported by many local businesses and organizations.
Volunteers are recruited by the American Cancer Society Relay for Life chapter of Calhoun County. The popular Kidz Bicycle Race and Mad Dash fun run are promoted and managed by the YMCA and Kiwanis Club of Calhoun County, with support from Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association (NEABA). And all 17 years have had the support of the chamber and Sunny King Automotive.
Want to be a part of the fun? Volunteers are needed to help this event run as smoothly as possible. If you are interested in joining the volunteer team, please contact Noble Street Festival and ACC directors.
Categories: Local Scenes Stuff