Final Preparations in Place for Pikes Peak Hill Climb

21 Jun, 2017

The 16th Annual Fan Fest, presented by Toyo Tires and Budweiser, will rock downtown Colorado Springs on Friday, June 23, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., as Olympic City USA ramps up excitement for the 2017 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, on Sunday, June 25.

Fan Fest celebrates the 95th running of the Race to the Clouds with fun, food and thrills for some 35,000 fans who take part in the street festival, spanning seven blocks of Tejon Street, in downtown Colorado Springs.

"The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a long-standing tradition and offers the opportunity to celebrate Colorado Springs' unique sports environment. While my days of camping out on Pikes Peak the night before the race are over, I encourage all of our residents to come downtown to Fan Fest and support this historic event," said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

Fans can see top qualifiers with their cars and motorcycles as they prepare to take on the world's toughest hill climb on Pikes Peak - America's Mountain. The PPIHC is the USA's second-oldest motorsport event behind the famous Indianapolis 500.

This year's Fan Fest entertainment package includes the Budweiser Beer Garden, the Fire Fighter Chili Cook Off benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association/Rocky Mountain region, exhibitions by the Red Bull Freestyle Motocross Team, sponsor booths, and food trucks and vendors for the fans.

"The Hill Climb team recognizes and salutes the support and contributions of Sam and Kathy Guadagnoli to Fan Fest," said Executive Director Megan Leatham. "Sam and Kathy are once again presenting the appearance of the Red Bull Freestyle Motocross Team.  They are VIPs who simply make things go in Colorado Springs. We could not make Fan Fest the tremendously popular event it has become without their generous financial support."

The Guadagnolis are successful downtown business owners and longtime supporters of sports-related events, including U.S. Olympic downtown celebrations and Fan Fest. The husband and wife entrepreneurs have recently launched a $75 million redevelopment project spanning South Nevada Avenue, Tejon Street and Cascade Avenue that will re-shape the area into a prized destination for thousands who want to live, shop and dine in the area.

Fire departments in Southern Colorado will be competing in the annual Chili Cook Off with ladles in hand for the title of Best Green Chili, Best Red Chili, Best Booth Design, and Most Money Raised. Colorado Springs Professional Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 5 will host the Cook Off during Fan Fest. The spicy recipes of southern Colorado's finest firefighters are sure to set off alarms! Proceeds raised during the event help support the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

"MDA Rocky Mountain is extremely grateful for the dedication and passion shown by the Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters in the fight against muscle disease. Their commitment to a cure has played a huge role in recent medical breakthroughs in the MDA community. We would not be able to achieve our mission without them," said Nathan Ressler-Aragon, Director of Development.

Admission to Fan Fest is free, it's great family fun, and offers a chance to get into the spirit of motorsports racing. Fan Fest won 1st place in the 2017 Colorado Springs Gazette's Best of division poll as the Best Downtown Event.

"It's a great community event that allows fans, especially the kids, to get up close to the cars and touch them," 2016 Pikes Peak Open Class champion Layne Schranz says. "We sign autographs, let them sit in the cars and have their pictures taken."

Since Fan Fest took its place in 2002 as one of the premier events leading up to the race each year, 400,000 fans have made their way to downtown Colorado Springs to enjoy the excitement, making it likely the biggest downtown event in the city. During the last four years, some 35,000 enthusiasts have been part of the event annually.

Pikes Peak champion driver, and 22-time champion Clint Vahsholtz says "A bunch of excited people and a great atmosphere, motor head or not. It's neat to see people enjoying themselves, it is a great time and a great way to spend a Friday night."

Red Bull Freestyle Motocross Team performer Keith Sayers says "This is one venue I love coming to each year! The event staff and race fans really make this a must-attend event for me!  I'm looking forward to June 23 in downtown Colorado Springs."

Fan Fest spectators will see some of the best riders in the world performing jaw dropping aerial tricks while jumping a distance of 75' and soaring 35' in the air! 

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