New Haven Grand Prix returns for its 8th year

New Haven Grand Prix returns
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 8:17 PM EDT
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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - An exciting event is taking over the Elm City and several downtown streets.

The New Haven Grand Prix, a series of bike races, along with a pizza street festival is underway.

When it comes to the cycling and racing, think of it like the world famous Tour de France, only with much better pizza.

“It’s why I love New Haven, the duality of these things happening at the same time, I think it’s great.  I love the community,” said Nydia Del Carmen of New Haven.

“To eat some pizza, to enjoy this day, to have a little sport. This is a day of coming together and having fun,” said Colin Caplan, with Taste of New Haven.

The family friendly street festival, now in its 8th year, is expected to draw anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 spectators.

“We didn’t even know we were coming on a pizza fest day, so it’s just made it 100 times more.  We’re excited,” said Dana Brown, of Texas.

Racing through downtown and topping out at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, the grand prix features top professional and amateur cyclists in several age groups.

If watching all that racing makes you hungry, then there’s the pizza from 10 different spots serving up slices.

“We’ve got New Haven representing, West Haven, down to Greenwich, we’ve got North Haven, Hamden. You know what? This is a Connecticut thing. We’ve got pizza from Connecticut and we make the best pizza in the world, no matter what anyone says,” Caplan said.

There is even a pizza eating contest, a beer garden for the adults and live music.

While organizers said it’s a good time, it’s also raising money for a good cause.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the Connecticut Cycling Advancement program, a nonprofit providing kids from across the state a chance to hop on a bike and take up the sport.

“A lot of proceeds support the CCAP for youth cycling in this state. We’re giving back to the kids, but we’re really doing this for everybody. This is a family event, come out today,” said Caplan.

The races and the pizza go until 10 p.m. Friday night.

There are several road closures. Parts of Elm, High, Chapel, and Temple are blocked off for the race and a section of College Street is closed for the street festival.

Organizers are recommending you use the downtown garages for parking.