One of the most highly-anticipated, widely acknowledged, enthusiastically celebrated weekends in Athens is upon us: Twilight. Twilight is a pro-cycling race that has captivated locals and visitors for an incredible 37 years, and this year it’s all about the “Road Rash”.
Here are a few things you can look forward to this weekend, April 28-29th. 1) Amateur cycling 2) 5k running race 3) Kids games, as well as a myriad of food and drinks from some of our favorite local vendors. The primary attraction, the men’s pro-am criterium 80k and women’s pro-am criterium 40k races around downtown Athens, will take place on Saturday.
For the newbies that need a game plan to maximize the event’s activities and offerings, we’ve gathered some important facts, features, and finds you will want to note:
- You can find the race’s start and finish time on Clayton Street at College Avenue. If this is where you plant yourself, so be it, but just know you can get front-row action essentially all over.
- For those who read “criterium” and acted like they knew what that meant, here is your cycling two-cents for the week. Merriam-Webster defines criterium as, “a bicycle race of a specified number of laps on a closed course over public roads closed to normal traffic”. NOW you can go to Twilight being fully prepped with trendy vocabulary.
- Kick off the weekend with the “Cheers & Gears” Pre-Party, featuring live music and drinks at Terrapin Brewery on Thursday, April 27th. I mean the creativity points for that name, plus the mention of local brews is enough to get us to make sure we’re there.
- Everyone is important, but some are VIPs. Check out how you can be a Twilight Finish Line VIP, get dinner catered by Porterhouse Grill, a great line-up of beverages, amazing views (top of the College Avenue Parking Deck!), and the chance to walk away with the FULL experience and serious bragging rights.
5. Comfortable shoes. A must. Whether you’re standing, walking, or simply observing, you don’t have to forfeit your spring style for comfort! Check out these adorable Heery’s kicks.
6. Twilight’s criterium has been “dubbed the most insane criterium in the world”. We’ll leave that there.
7. You’re probably/definitely going to need dinner to prepare for a long–& fun–evening as a race spectator. We’ve heard that pizza pairs very nicely with cycling! Make sure you hit one of our favorite outdoor seating areas in Athens at Ted’s Most Best. Front row for the action and great company (both friends and ‘za).
8. And a tailgate?! Saturday, from 5 pm – 11 pm, watch the race at the Classic Center. Here you’ll enjoy free entry with a bar and concessions available, viewing platform for the crowd-worriers and a family friendly atmosphere.
9. If you’ve ever thought “downtown Athens would be perfect for a beer garden” the answer is both “we agree” and “here you go”. At South Kitchen + Bar, from 11 am to 11 pm on Saturday, you’ve got free entry to a large beer garden outside the restaurant, complete with Terrapin beers, burgers, brats, hot dogs, and more. Munchies for kids available too! We’re there.
10. Traffic! Athens adopts similar car speeds to its distant cousin, Atlanta, so know that roads will be closed and you’ll need to reevaluate your little five minute trip through town. If you know what’s best for you, embrace the closures!
11. If your competitive spirit isn’t stimulated enough from the race, get your game fix at The Rook & Pawn. This Saturday, they are celebrating a one-of-a-kind holiday of their own: International Table Top Day! From noon to 6 pm, win game giveaways, ITTD (abbreviated) swag, and enjoy local phenomena, Nedza’s waffles.
12. Get excited. As if this town didn’t already give us enough to do on a beautiful Saturday in April, here’s the Classic City’s version of taking it to the next level. Happy Twilight-ing!