Local children and the young at heart are all invited to take part in the Mountains Beckon Bicycle Parade & Rodeo Saturday in downtown Elkins.
The fourth annual event is presented by Elkins ON TRAC and sponsored by Joey's Bike Shop and other downtown businesses.
Joey Riddle, of Joey's Bike Shop, said the event helps introduce children to bicycling.
Youth participate in the Mountain Beckons Bicycle Parade & Rodeo last year.
"Not enough kids are riding bikes these days," Riddle said. "It's a good way to make kids aware that bikes are fun, and teach them some skills, too."
New for 2014, the parade will be followed by a bicycle rodeo on Third Street in front of Joey s. Riddle said the rodeo will have an obstacle course designed to teach children how to properly control and maneuver their bicycles. They also will learn how to use hand signals and stop at a given point.
In addition to riding skills, equipment also will be checked for safety. Volunteers will help check helmet straps and tire inflation. Bikes also will be checked to see if there are any mechanical
Riddle said children can learn to balance on a bicycle beginning as young as 18 months.
"You are never too young and never too old to ride a bike," he said, noting his 16-month-old daughter is showing an interest in bikes at the shop while his oldest cycling customer is 89 years old.
All ages are welcome to participate in the traditional, small town bicycle parade.
Parade participants are invited to dress up and decorate their bikes to compete for prizes. Awards will be presented in six categories, including school spirit, color crazy, sparkle & shine, super hero, flower power and mayor's choice.
Special prizes also will be awarded by Joey's Bike Shop.
Registration for the parade will be held in the parking lot behind city hall beginning at 9 a.m. All parade participants must wear helmets and closed shoes. A parent or guardian must sign for all children under 18, and small children must be accompanied by an adult on foot.
The first 30 registrants 12 or younger will receive free event t-shirts, sponsored by Pioneer Insurance Agency. Other event sponsors include Bagels 'n Bites, Fancy Paws, Henry G's Cafe, Kissel Stop Cafe, Papa John's Pizza and Seven Performance.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and follow Davis Avenue from Fifth Street to Third Street. Third Street will be closed to traffic from Davis Avenue to the alley at Joey's Bike Shop for the rodeo.
The Elkins Police Department will provide a cruiser to lead the way down Davis Avenue, and a fire engine, courtesy of the Elkins Fire Department, will follow the route to Third Street.
Mountains Beckon is one of many events Elkins ON TRAC presents in downtown Elkins. Free of charge to the public, events are designed to increase downtown activity by providing quality recreation and entertainment for the community.
Held the first Friday of every month, First Fridays bring businesses and the community together for a downtown neighborhood party. A different business is showcased with an open house each month. All businesses are invited to stay open later with special activities for downtown guests.