The Wheels and Walk Festival highlighted the beauty of the city’s bike trails and gathered donations for the local food banks.
The City of Edwardsville’s Campus to Community Committee hosted the Wheels and Walk Festival on Saturday, April 2, which started at 11 a.m. and continued to 3 p.m.
The event departed from SIUE’s Technology and Management Center parking lot and proceeded onto the MCT trail to Ironworks. Ironworks is home to Sugarfire Smoke House, Global Brew Tap House, Chicken Salad Chick, Just Right Eating Edwardsville and Waxing the City.
Participants were seen walking, cycling and skateboarding. Most of the participants were from Edwardsville, particularly from SIUE and partly from Lewis and Clark Community College.
Chad Verbais, chair of Campus to Community Committee and assistant director of Supplemental Education at SIUE, said “Our goal as a committee is to bring together the campus and the community.”
Verbais said they periodically have such events to showcase things that are going on in the city to publicize things that are happening on campus and to the folks in the city.
According to Verbais, the Campus to Community Committee is funded by the city and is composed by its members as well as the SIUE community.
Verbais said a purpose of this event is to showcase the beauty of the trails to the community, particularly SIUE students.
The first 200 participants were given a food voucher of $5 for the donation of food items they made, to be used at the food trucks at Ironworks.
Carolyn Compton, assistant director of SIUE Community Engagement, said “We layered in the opportunities for people to bring in a donation of canned food items and get a $5 food voucher.”
According to Compton, the donated items will be divided between Cougar Cupboard and Glen-Ed Food Pantry.
Jo Gibson, vice chair of Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee Edwardsville and an SIUE retiree, said that the Edwardsville Bicycle and Pedestrian advisory committee is conducting a study and trying to connect the trails to the city to make it more bike and pedestrian friendly.
Participants came to the event with their families, friends and some of them brought their pets too.
Jason Fultz, an SIUE graduate, and Robin Fultz, marketing specialist at SIUE, participated in the event with their two kids.
“The kids did good, he was on a bike trailer, daughter fell asleep in a stroller so that was pretty easy,” Fultz said. “It was a good excuse to get out and enjoy the weather.”
Outdoor games and live music were also provided at the Ironworks. Participants to enjoy the food, nice weather and live music by Matt Taul.
“The forecast scared a lot of us but the day really delivered. There are a lot of families out here, there are bikers, walkers, skateboarders … We look forward to growing this next year and Lewis and Clark is really happy to be a part of it,” Elizabeth Grant, professor of speech at Lewis and Clark Community College said.
Grant said that it was Lewis and Clarks’ very first year of being on a Campus to Community Committee and happy to be a part of this event.