Area residents and visitors can enjoy an array of activities while watching the races. (Photo: Contributed)

Private community Jasper Highlands is hosting an upcoming running and cycling event and a free, family-friendly festival.

“This is the first year the race has been done,” pro-cyclist and co-organizer Jacob Henley said. “It’s a pretty big prize money race, and the River Gorge Omnium is happening the following weekend. There are going to be lots of folks coming out. There are not a ton of races that have good prize payouts, so that’s pretty big for the Chattanooga area.”

The Jasper Highlands Classic is slated for Aug. 18–20.

There are several cycling races open for participation, and runners choose from a half-marathon or 10K. The top cycling prize is $17,000, and the top runner gets $1,000.

And organizers aren’t planning to turn anyone away. Participants can sign up now through the day of the events.

There’s also an expo area open to businesses, artists and other makers Aug. 19. It’s free to set up a booth at the event. Vendors can also participate in one race for free.

The public can attend the expo/festival, watch the races, visit vendor booths, enjoy family games, hear music, and partake of a bounce house and children’s races. There will be food trucks on-site, too, Henley said.

“Everything is happening up at Jasper Highlands, and it’s all happening around the park up there,” he said. “The course will go around [the park]. The spectators will constantly see racing action.”