Roll Downtown cycling festival begins
Gear up Florence! Get out your bike and Roll Downtown for a free and easy ride to a cycling festival at First Presbyterian Church on June 23.
Starting out as a fund-raising challenge from her pastor Chris Handley at First Presbyterian Church, cyclist Janet Brand created “Pedal for PADD” in 2010. This sponsored long-distance road bike ride raises funds for the Presbyterian Agency for the Developmentally Disabled (PADD). Eight years later, the ride evolved into an easy 3-mile family “Downtown Roll” with a free family-friendly festival after the ride.
The community is invited to participate in the Florence Downtown Roll and Cycling Festival starting at 10 a.m. with the ride and festival that lasts until 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Florence. The event is free and no registration is required.
“Our desire is for the ride to mesh into the fabric of our community by connecting it with the Helping Florence Flourish movement and its ServeFlo week,” Brand said. “The principles of this movement align more closely with our vision for the growth of the Roll, as it seeks to bring unity among our churches, care for our community, encourage racial bridging, and promote our beautiful new downtown!”
“As avid cyclists, we are also directly able to promote the sport we love by teaching cycling safety to children at the festival, which encourages a ‘Share the Road’ mentality and exercise for the whole family.”
A police-and SAG-escorted family cycling ride will begin at First Presbyterian Church, 700 Park Ave., travel through a few miles of the Florence downtown area and end back at the cycling festival on the grounds of the church.
Children will receive a little goody bag after they finish playing all of the games, run and/or bike through the obstacle course, and jump on the inflatables.
Local food vendors also will be set up all around the festival for families to buy a hot dog, grab a snow cone, a delicious iced coffee, etc.
One hundred percent of the sponsorship money and donations raised goes directly to supporting group homes for developmentally disabled people, who for the past eight years have also volunteered and participated in the ride.
“One look at those beautiful, smiling, faces, and I guarantee your heart will be hooked,” Brand said.
For more information, visit www. facebook.com/downtownroll or call First Presbyterian Church at 843-662-2583. More information about ServeFlo, set for June 16-24, can be found at serveflo.org.