A member of the Creston Valley Cycling Club on Highway 3A, which is part of the Kootenay Lake Gran Fondo route. (Submitted photo)

Downtown Creston activity hub for Kootenay Lake Gran Fondo

Downtown Creston will be a hub of activity on Saturday when the inaugural Kootenay Lake Gran Fondo gets underway.

Jointly hosted by the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Creston, entertainment, children’s activities, the Jimmy’s Pub mobile kitchen and the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market will be part of event downtown and in the Spirit of Creston Square.

“Downtown will be closed to traffic all day,” said chamber manager Vern Gorham. “This is so much more than just a cycling event — it’s an opportunity for the community to celebrate with guests who are visiting for the gran fondo.”

The gran fondo — Italian for “big ride” — actually consists of three cycling events: the 151-kilometre gran fondo, the shorter 98-kilometre medio fondo and the piccolo fondo, the shortest at 56 kilometres, with courses running around the Creston Valley and East Shore.

Interested cyclists may still sign up, with registration held from 1-9 p.m. Friday at the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce and downtown from 7-8:30 a.m. Saturday. Non-riders can get involved, as well, by cheering on the cyclists, who will depart in front of ReMax from 9-9:30 a.m. Saturday, returning by about 4 p.m.

The chamber and Rotary club will be sharing the gran fondo’s proceeds, with the Rotary share going to support community projects, including Trails for Creston Valley.

“It was an opportunity to help bring a fun event to Creston while earning money to support projects such as Riverside Park and trails,” said Rotary Club president Heather More.

And it’s a perfect opportunity to share the Creston Valley with newcomers visiting for the event.

“I’ve attended three gran fondos this year as a spectator, and each one was a great deal of fun,” said More. “In Creston, we will be showcasing the things we love about our valley — stunning scenery, agricultural abundance and wonderful people.”

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