Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Eventful Weekend: Sunny King Crit to Janney Furnace

 Each year, visitors come from all over the south east and cyclists come from all over the world, to see and compete in the Sunny King Criterium. No crit is complete without a festival. The Sunny King Crit is accompanied annually by the Noble Street Festival, complete with a KidZone of rides and activity, a Music Cafe, and Taste of Noble selection of regional restaurants.
For 2015, we also showcased local artists at a "Pop Up" show along Noble Street, displaying pieces from Metalworks to Paintings, Graphic Design and more. This year was a bit cold and breezy, but that didn't stop locals from exploring the vendors and cheering on the events.

The weather also didn't stop local cyclists from taking on their own challenge with the Iron Mountain Challenge. Formerly the Woodland-Calhoun County Challenge, this route of various lengths, 25 to 100 miles, Cyclists begin at the Anniston Aquatics Center and take routes along 431 and 204 or along the Ladiga Trail. Those who choose the 100 mile route, take in beautiful landscapes of Dugger Mountain and Bains Gap for memorable sights and climbs.

Then on Sunday, racers took to Bains Gap for the Fort McClellan Road Race. The Men's Pro took to the 20 loop over Bains Gap four times, and you can ask any local cyclists, it's not an easy climb just once.

The weekend didn't stop there! Each Spring Janney Furnace Park hosts a reenactment on both Saturday and Sunday. The day is filled with music, food, vendors and a reenactment battle. Although Janney Furnace never went into production producing pig iron, during the Civil War, the union soldiers burned the shacks, and the brick chimney still stands today.
Near the H. Neely Henry Dam on the Coosa in Ohatchee, there still stands a marker remembering the Battle of "Ten Islands." On July 14, 1864, a Confederate Calvary was overwhelmed by Union Calvary Force while attempting to protect Janney Iron Works. After the Union destroyed the Iron Works, they proceeded south to Talladega.

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