West Suffolk is gearing up to welcome thousands of visitors to Mildenhall’s annual cycling rally this bank holiday weekend.
The popular event, which offers free entry and car parking, draws people from all over the UK and boosts the local economy by hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Mildenhall College’s Sheldrick Way grounds and playing fields will be transformed into a temporary campsite for hundreds of caravans, motor homes and tents as families come to soak up the festival atmosphere.
As well as hosting a large number of competitive races, the three-day event will feature children’s sports each day, as well as a bouncy castle and face-painting on its last two days and a circus skills workshop on Monday, all free.
New this year, a two-day trade show will present visitors with a unique opportunity to browse bikes and accessories, with many being sold at bargain prices.
Suffolk Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team will also be available throughout the event to give free bicycle marking and security advice.
Other attractions include tomorrow’s tabletop cycle jumble, which has completely sold out, and Sunday’s rally quiz night, with regular quiz-master Dave Sennitt.
Cllr James Water, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “The Mildenhall Cycling Rally is a great tourism event that allows us to showcase this fantastic part of West Suffolk on a national scale.
“It brings in thousands of visitors to our area every year and hundreds of thousands of pounds to our local economy.
“Olympic and Commonwealth champions have taken part in previous Mildenhall Cycling Rallies and I am sure that this year’s event over the August Bank Holiday weekend, will similarly attract both families and future stars of one of the UK’s most successful sports.”
Mark Burchett, chairman of Mildenhall Cycling Club, which organises the event, said: “If you want to watch a potential future international or Olympic cycling champion there’s no better place than the Mildenhall Cycling Rally.
“It can boast among its many thousands of competitors over the years such impressive stars as Nicole Cook MBE, Ben Swift, Jason Kenny OBE, Steve Burke MBE, Emma and Laura Trott OBE and, of course, Victoria Pendleton CBE, who was a member of the Mildenhall club when she was growing up.”
He added: “It is at grass-tracks like this where these young riders cut their teeth and the skills they learnt have then stood them in good stead on the top international stages around the world.”
For more details, visit www.mildenhallrally.org.uk