Bright and early on the sunny Sunday morning of June 5, nearly 1,200 local residents descended on Harrisburg to participate in the Capital Area Greenbelt Association’s (CAGA’s) 22nd annual Tour de Belt signature fundraising event and inaugural Finish Line Fest. Returning to an in-person format following a two-year hiatus during which the event followed a ride-when-you-can format as a COVID-19 precaution, the event broke records for both number of participants and gross funds raised – a whopping $59,425.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of this year’s Tour de Belt and Finish Line Fest,” said Neelam Zaver, CAGA board member and Tour de Belt committee chair. “We’re so grateful to all those who contributed to the effort – from bike participants, to sponsors, to community volunteers – and made it such a fun and successful event!”
Broken into three start times, the Tour de Belt event began at 9, 9:30, and 10 a.m. at the HACC campus in Harrisburg. From there, riders circled the city on the Greenbelt, making a 20-mile loop featuring picturesque natural areas, parks, and open areas as it winded through the City of Harrisburg, Paxtang and Penbrook Boroughs, and Susquehanna and Swatara Townships. The ride ended at Commonwealth Charter Academy where the first-ever Finish Line Fest offered live music and entertainment, food trucks, and fun activities from 42 providers, running from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The $59K+ in funds raised by the Tour de Belt and Finish Line Fest and will benefit CAGA’s efforts to support improvements and maintenance of the Greenbelt. In 2021, the budget for these efforts surpassed $7 million and included increased safety of trail crossings at intersections, newly paved sections of the trail, and completion of the new Fort Hunter connection.
“Work to support the Greenbelt doesn’t stop now that Tour de Belt and Finish Line Fest are over – it’s a year-round effort by dedicated volunteers to care for and improve this important community resource,” said CAGA Board President Mike Shaull. “We encourage any local businesses, organizations, or individuals interested in getting involved to visit caga.org reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.”