When the more than 150 bicyclists take off Saturday, September 11 on their ride/race of up to 100 miles around Moore County and the Texas Panhandle for the Moore County YMCA's annual Texas Tumbleweed 100, they will not be leaving from or returning to McDade Park as in years past. This year's ride/race is being held in conjunction with the Dumas/Moore County Chamber of Commerce's Ears and Beers Festival that will take place around the courthouse square and on 7th and 8th Streets, closed to traffic for the occasion.
Riders in the Texas Tumbleweed 100 will line up at 8:00 am at the intersection of Bliss Avenue and 7th Street. They will take off in mass under police escort and travel east down 7th Street to Maddox Avenue, turn left on Maddox and proceed to 1st Street where they will turn right and head out on trips of 12, 32, 68, or 100 miles. Riders will trickle back individually and in groups to the courthouse square over the course of the next several hours. Those returning from the 12 and 32 mile trips will travel south on Maddox before heading west on 7th Street; those returning from the 68 and 100 mile trips will turn off US 87/287 on to 19th Street and head north on Maddox and west on 7th. No riders will return on Dumas Avenue. By mid to late afternoon, the last stragglers should be back. In the meantime, the Ears and Beers Festival will kick off at 11:00 am and continue on until 9:00 pm with live music, vendors, food trucks, beer, games, and other attractions.
According to Susan Riseling of the Y, participants in the 100 mile ride will compete for cash prizes of $300 for first, $150 for second, and $50 for third in both the men's and women's categories. In a departure from previous years, they will be timed by computer chip.
Riseling said there are riders already registered from as far away as Austin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico. Registration is online until Thursday evening, in person at the Y on Maddox Avenue through Friday, and at the Hoppy Place in the Toppled Turtle Friday evening and Saturday morning. Registered riders will be treated to a free spaghetti dinner Friday evening and a free barbecue lunch on Saturday. The Dumas Noon Lions Club will be selling breakfast burritos the morning of the ride.
The Y is also raffling off a Traeger grill.
Live music starts at 3:00 pm at the Ears and Beers Festival, according to a press release from the Chamber. Chamber officials have lined up the Roman Cabajal Band, the Band Monarch, and country entertainer William Beckmann. Among the featured attractions will be a corn hole tournament, a corn eating contest, and bouncy houses for children. Beer gardens will be located on the north and south ends of the festival. The festival area, which goes from 8th Street to the food truck park north of the Toppled Turtle will be fenced off. Entrances will be set up at the north, south, and east ends of the festival. Admission is $5 per person age 13 and above.