The 31st annual GOBA voyage begins (and ends) in Bowling Green, which is hosting GOBA for the fifth time — the most of any community. The parking lot and grounds of the Wood County Fairgrounds will open to registrants at noon Saturday. The day’s highlight will be the “Come Sail Away Slow Roll Parade & Kick Off Celebration” at the new Wooster Green park in downtown BG from 5-9 p.m. The festivities includes live music, food and the GOBA bike parade/decorating contest. Other events Saturday outside camp include a cookout lunch at nearby First Christian Church and the 5- or 6-mile “Slow Roll Bike Across BG” ride that features local attractions. On Sunday morning, a pancake breakfast will get you off to a well-nourished start.
(All events, times and prices are subject to change. Check back for new activities and other updates!)
• When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
• Where: First Christian Church, at the SW corner of Poe and Haskins roads, just a 0.1-mile walk from the fairgrounds main gate.
• About: Gather with friends old and new for a delicious meal to celebrate the start of GOBA. Menu includes pork-a-lean, a local favorite, as well as veggie burgers, hamburgers, macaroni salad, chips and drinks. Carry-out boxes available.
“Slow Roll Bike Across BG”
• When: 2 p.m.
• Where: Meet near the fairgrounds main gate.
• About: Loosen your legs with an easy-paced tour of 5 or 6 miles past some Bowling Green landmarks. Highlights of the tour, led by members of the city’s bicycling committee, include City Park, Slippery Elm trail, Clough windmill and the Bowling Green State University campus.
“Come Sail Away Slow Roll Parade & Kick Off Celebration”
• When: 5-9 p.m.
• Where: Wooster Green, the city’s new downtown green space
• About: Bike, walk or drive the 1.8 miles from camp to downtown as we get GOBA off to a rousing start with music, food and fun. Contestants in the bike decorating contest (the theme is “Come Sail Away”) will be judged near the fairgrounds main gate. Then at 5 p.m. they will begin rolling to Wooster Green — joined in the parade by dignitaries, other GOBA riders and a police escort. Awaiting them at the park will be food trucks, ice cream, children’s activities and entertainment that includes an exciting BMX Bike Demo by the group The Right Direction at 6:30 and the lively music of Ginger & the Snaps at 7 p.m. Park in the monitored bike corral while you enjoy the festival and visit downtown merchants and restaurants (get a discount flyer and maps at the BG info booth in camp).
• When: 6-10 a.m.
• Where: Liberty Township pavilion at the fairgrounds
• About: The Bowling Green High School Band Boosters will serve a pancake breakfast and grab-and-go options to fuel GOBA riders before they pedal for Fremont.