Local and out of town cyclists as well as members of the community participated in the 4th Annual Marmaton Massacre Festival over the weekend, as the Gunn Park bike trails dried out from recent rains.
Almost 100 cyclists rode the trails Saturday and Sunday for time trial courses, a marathon race, a children’s race and others during the UFD West Series event. Organizer Frank Halsey said a surprising number came to camp in town and take advantage of what Fort Scott has to offer.
“Everybody loves our small town and the hospitality we afford,” Halsey said.
While the rain earlier in the week threatened to cancel the event, the trails dried out enough for the races to go on. Halsey said the event was a success only because of help from volunteers, local business and the city of Fort Scott to clean the park as well as sponsor and run the event.
Apart from the races, the festival also provided food and retail vendors, live music and Bike Trial demonstrations Saturday evening to anyone in the public.
Halsey said he was pleased with the turnout from the community Saturday evening for the festival, admitting they have struggled in past years to attract local residents. But this year, Halsey said he considered the event a success and felt they gained traction with the higher attendance from the community.
“Our goal has been to not only provide a mountain bike race, but to also create a festival within the peaceful confines of Gunn Park,” Halsey said. “A festival that would attract locals as well as outsiders to Fort Scott. Hopefully, this successful event creates enough awareness that we can continue to grow.”