Becca Zajac says national and international eyes are on Columbus.
“We are on a roll,” said the vice president of community relations and marketing for Uptown Columbus. “We are being seen as a city which can hold big events and that we have the resources.”
But the community must do its part.
“If the people here don’t come out and show their support, it will make it more difficult for us to get consideration,” she said.
Two big sporting events are being held this weekend and are free to the public.
A major international cycling event, the Union Cyclist International Eliminator World Cup, will be held Saturday and Sunday. The 500-meter course traveled by pro and amateur mountain bike riders will be contained to the 1000 block of Broadway
It is one of a series with stops in places such as Beirut in Lebanon, Volterra in Italy, Antwerp in Belgium and Winterberg in Germany.
“They are usually held in cities larger than us,” Zajac said.
Jason McKenzie, owner of Ride On Bikes, said, “This is a UCI World Cup Event, which makes it the biggest cycling event Columbus has seen since the Tour de Georgia was here in 2003.”
It is the first time a UCI urban mountain bike race has been held in the United States.
The racing events begin Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and go until about 7:30 p.m. Events will start at 12:30 p.m. Sunday and continue until 5:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, the Chattahoochee River will be host to the 2017 WPA Paddle Championships presented by Salt Life, with other events being held in places such as Puerto Rico and Japan.
The racing action will take place on the flat water below the Riverwalk by the cascading staircase across from the Phenix City Amphitheater.
The paddling will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days and a $15,000 prize is being offered.
“We believe this weekend will be the highlight of the year for residents and tourists in Columbus,” Zajac said.
Grilling is not a sport but it is fun. The third annual Bud & Burgers Cook-off is Saturday. Some of the best grillers in the South will be vying for the crown of “King of Burgers.” There are cash prizes.
The event, a partnership with Anheuser-Busch, is a major fundraiser for Uptown Columbus and will feature food, cold beer, DJ Dave Arwood and live bluegrass music by Blackberry Possum. The event is 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
But that’s not all.
▪ The Phenix City Amphitheatre will host popular blues singer Samantha Fish. Along with her will be singer Charley Crockett.
The show is Saturday at 8 p.m. and it is billed as a military appreciation concert.
Fish is known for albums such as “Black Wind Howlin,” “Live Bait” and “Chills & Fever.”
Tickets are just $10. Children 12 and under get in free.
▪ The Georgia Repertory Theater Production of “What the Butler Saw” is Thursday-Saturday with showtime at 7:30 p.m.
The production is at the Columbus State University Theater Complex, 6 W 10th Street.
The adult comedy has been called a mix of Oscar Wilde and Benny Hill.
The story tells about a Dr. Prentice, who is married to a nymphomaniac. While interviewing an attractive new secretary, he hides her in the office to prevent his wife’s discovery. Meanwhile, she is being seduced and blackmailed by a lusty bellhop who wants the same secretarial post. A surprise government inspection adds some fun.
Adults tickets are $17 with seniors and military getting in for $15. If you want to bring children 12 and under, they get in for $12.
The box office is open Monday-Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. The box office number is 706-507-8444.
Tickets may be ordered at https://theatre.columbusstate.edu.
▪ Popular rappers Yo Gotti and Rick Ross will be in town Friday.
The artists will perform in a Trap All Stars Part 2 concert at the Columbus Civic Center. The show is at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $87.50, $67.50, $57.50, $47.50 and $27.50.
Tickets can be purchased at the Columbus Civic Center Box Office or online at TicketMaster.com.
The Columbus Civic Center box office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to showtime Friday.
▪ On Saturday night, the Columbus Civic Center will have the Columbus Lions continue their quest for a playoff spot.
The team is hosting the Corpus Christi Rage out of Texas. The game starts at 7 p.m.