BOISE -- It's going to be a hot weekend, but a busy weekend, as there are plenty of big events happening around the Treasure Valley.
There's a huge cycling community in Boise, and Saturday is their big event, the Twilight Criterium. It's a race through the streets of Boise, with the finish and start line near West Main Street and North 9th Street.
The Criterium started all the way back in 1987, and attracts more than 20,000 people to the streets of Boise. It also attracts some of the finest cyclists from around the world to compete for big cash and big bragging rights.
This is the race that two-gold medalist Kristin Armstrong grew up on, and would hone her skills on heading into the Olympics. Kristin will lead a Kids' Ride tomorrow. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m., the Ride begins at 2:30 p.m. She'll be doing autographs throughout.
If you're looking to drive through Downtown Boise tomorrow, try not to. They'll close North 9th and North 10th Streets, West Grove Street to West Bannock Street Saturday starting at 1:00 p.m., and they won't open again until about midnight. The racing begins at 3:15 p.m., with the pros going off at 7:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
If you are coming down, be prepared for the heat with plenty of water and sunscreen. Shady spots will be at a premium, and it's going to be much hotter down by the asphalt and concrete. As far as how the heat might affect the riders, Armstrong said during one particularly hot Criterium, it felt like she was trying to breathe through a hairdryer. So, it will probably be a factor.
Meanwhile, two events will take over Downtown Meridian. First, there's Les Schwab Tire Motorfest. A lot of that happens down at Expo Idaho, with a 100-foot drag strip for the Holeshot Nationals, a special course of boulders, sand and obstacles for the Rock Crawlers, and of course, plenty of classic cars. On Saturday night, all those cars will cruise right through downtown Meridian, and they're going to do it right near Meridian Speedway, where they're holding a big race, the 4th annual Jeff Russell Road to Recovery race. It benefits Idaho's Jeff Russell, who was injured in a horrific accident in 2010.
These two awesome events that will bring about 8,000 people to Meridian, and create some issues for drivers. Main Street from Central Drive to Meridian Road will have only one open northbound lane. Main Street will be completely closed between King Street and Fairview Avenue. Franklin Road will be closed between Northeast 3rd Street and Meridian Road. All side streets intersecting with Main Street between Fairview Avenue and Franklin Road will be closed. Westbound Watertower Street will be closed between Stratford Drive and Main Street. So, if you're a racer, they want you to use Locust Grove to get to the track.
For everyone else, who's not enjoying those events, just avoid Downtown Meridian, and use Eagle Road or Ten Mile Road, if you can.
Happening already, is the Snake River Stampede Rope and Run. It's at the Idaho Center Horse Park, which is just to the west of the Ford Idaho Center Arena.
What is the Rope and Run? It's a chance for some of the best local team ropers and barrel racers to test their skills and win some buckles, saddles, jackets, bags, and prize money. About $80,000 in cash and prizes was given out in previous years. As far as the Rope and Run, it runs through Sunday, starting at 10 a.m.
This is all a great way to kick-off rodeo week. Some of the world's best cowboys and cowgirls will compete in one of the nation's elite rodeos, the Snake River Stampede.
However that's not all, coming up Saturday, is the first-annual Man Up Crusade Run to the Rodeo. The 5k run/walk starts at 8:00 a.m. in Downtown Nampa. The Man Up Crusade is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about domestic violence. Also, runners can take part in the annual Buckaroo Pancake breakfast after the 5k, and stick around for the Snake River Stampede Parade.
While in Eagle, Friday night is the kick off to Eagle Fun Days, with the Eagle Fun Days parade scheduled at 2:00 Saturday afternoon.
For more events happening this weekend, check out the KTVB Event Guide.