Fitchburg Festival of Speed file art

Competitors in a Master’s 35+ criterium race around the course around the Agora pavilion and Promega Life Sciences complexes during the Fitchburg Festival of Speed on Saturday, July 7, 2018. The 11:30 a.m. criterium was an hour-long race, the longest of all races.

Fitchburg’s fastest festival is back for a second year.

The Fitchburg Festival of Speed will take place all-day Saturday, July 13, at the Agora Pavilion. The event will feature cycling and foot races, a larger children’s area and two bands performing at night after all the races have finished, Race Day Events project manager Lucas Molloy told the Star.

The day starts at 7:30 a.m., Molloy said, with the Fitchburg Family Pharmacy 25-mile ride. Following the start of the 25-mile race, additional races such as the Donor Dash 5K, the Kids Fun Run and the USA Cycling Criterium races will take place throughout the day.

“It was very well received by criterium athletes, as well as City of Fitchburg residents,” Molloy said of last year’s inaugural event. “It was really well perceived.”

Registration costs for each event varies depending on the specific race, the age of the racer and the day of which the registration is completed, and can be viewed on the event’s website at

The Donor Dash 5K will start at 8 a.m. that day, named for Green Bay-based journalist Andy Nelesen, who “felt strongly” about organ donation, according to the event’s website.

“Andy was a man of integrity and care that was great by many measures. His final gift was his organs,” the event description stated. “Through this event, we hope we will be able to achieve a greater level of awareness in the community for the benefit of organ donation.”

The criterium races, which serve as the Wisconsin Cycling Association’s State Championship tournament, will start at 10:30 a.m. and run until just before 9 p.m. Competitors will be racing on a closed-loop format around the Agora Pavilion and Fitchburg Center.

Molloy said that organizers expanded the Kid’s Zone this year, with bounce houses, face paintings and an appearance from the Fitchburg Fire Department.

“We really pride ourselves on encompassing athletes all the way through parenthood,” he said.

Children will also be able to participate in the Kid’s Fun Run, which will take place at 2:40 p.m. and consists of one loop around the Agora building.

The festival also changed the genre of music played at this year’s festival, Molloy said, with a focus on alternative music, which will be performed by New Politics and Twin XL. Both concerts will be free to the public.

For more information about the festival, visit

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.