The Bartow community is taking baby steps toward normalcy by holding not one, but two events this month.
This past weekend, this year’s Tour de Tow bicycling event was the first of a pair of downtown-centric events, featuring a scenic tour of south Polk County and the city.
The other event, which city leaders have said will set the tone for more to come, is the Fall Fest, slated for Saturday, Sept. 26, in the downtown area.
In addition to giving cyclists a scenic tour, the Tour de Tow is an event that gives back to the community, according to organizer Trish Pfeiffer. She says that, at the time which she was interviewed for this story, the event had funded the give-away of some 130 bikes to kids in need.
“This year, we will be 'Riding for our Health',” Pfeiffer said before the event took place. “Our tag line has new meaning this year, as we have cultivated a love of cycling and a healthy lifestyle for all the years we have been doing this ride.”
The ride was hosted and staged at Front Page Brewing Co. at 190 South Florida Avenue, and was divided into three categories: a 17-mile Family Fun Ridge, a Half Century Metric Ride and a Metric Century Ride.
The Fall Fest, normally one of the city's premier events that draws thousands to the downtown area, will be slightly different this year, Main Street officials have said.
Vendors will be placed at 10 feet intervals for safety and fest-goers are asked to wear a mask and utilize the hand sanitizing stations that will be available.
“If everyone does their part, we may be able to start bringing back downtown events,” said Main Street Director Linda Holcomb. “If numbers (of COVID-19 cases in the city) rise, end-of-year events being planned could be canceled.”
The Fall Fest, which will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, is being sponsored by Main Street, Sunflower Barntiques and Twisted Pineapple, and features shopping, food, games, craft vendors, giveaways, raffles, a photo backdrop, a pumpkin patch and more, Holcomb added.