The grand opening of the Flint Hills Nature Trail will be celebrated by Rush the Rails Oct. 7.
The event — sponsored by the Dirty Kanza Promotions, Emporia — runs from Osawatomie to Council Grove with a stop in Ottawa. The ride and run include multiple bike rides of various lengths and a relay run.
Ottawa is planning several events downtown in conjunction with the bike ride and run, Lenni Giacin, Ottawa Main Street Association director, said.
She said the riders and runners will check in and pick up their registration packets and have an informational meeting Oct. 6 at Ottawa Memorial Auditorium, 301 S. Hickory St., Ottawa.
“Between First and Second streets, we will block off the streets and have a street dance with Katie and The Boys,” Giacin said. “We will have food trucks. It will be a kickoff welcome event.”
Giacin said Saturday (Oct. 7) at about 8:30 a.m., the first rider or runner will make its way into Ottawa from Osawatomie. There will be events for adults and children downtown near the trail head on First Street until 2 p.m.
“We are trying to promote [Ottawa],” she said. “It is a win-win for everybody.”
To help promote the event, there will be a traveling bike with flyers and information throughout Ottawa, Giacin said. This week the bike is located inside the Arvest Bank lobby, 119 E. Third St., Ottawa.
Giacin said the idea came up during a committee meeting as the members were trying to see how they could promote the image of the event. Susan Rader, a committee member, saw an old bike sitting in the window of Papa’s Attic, 213 S. Main St., Suite A, Ottawa, Giacin said.
“We got the bike ready,” she said. “We have a basket [of information]. Susan said what if we got a bike that toured around Ottawa and generated community interest to promote the event. We have a schedule set up for the next four weeks, starting out at Arvest Bank this week.”
Giacin said the bike display will be at Kansas State Bank, 236 N. Main St., Ottawa, and the public library, 105 S. Hickory St., Ottawa, later this month.
The event is garnering attention with nearly 170 entrants registered as of Monday, Giacin said. She added each of the participants will bring a crew to help throughout the 93-mile trek between Osawatomie and Council Grove.
“They would like to make it an annual event,” Giacin said.