[Lisa Schneider, Vicki Muir Chernin, Michelle Bazargan, Mike Midlarsky, Nancy Porter, Amy Good, Jordana Magin and Chuck Jones]

Last year the Delray Beach Twilight Festival transformed Downtown Delray into an elite sprint-style cycling event for two days. People lined the streets as professional and top local cyclists—men and women—flew around and around on a one-kilometer course.

It’s close to that time again, and the parties leading up to this year’s Delray Beach Twilight Festival are just beginning.

Event director Michelle Bazargan told us the festival’s “Race and Health/Wellness Launch Party” is just around the corner, on Thursday, January 31, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at SoLita Italian restaurant (25 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach, 33444).

Here’s the scoop: For $25 a ticket you get an up-front V.I.P. view, a drink and commemorative goodie bag. There’s also free general, standing-only admission. Party goers will witness a fashion show of top-of-the-line road bikes, and models wearing the latest in cycling apparel. Don’t miss the cyclists (women’s and men’s) sexy legs contest, as well as an auctioning of local cycling and fitness celebrities. For your auction dollars, you could win an hour-long sweat session at Lululemon or a ride with accomplished local cyclists.

There will be a raffle for a free registration to the Granfondo cycling event—a 62- or 37-mile ride for the more amateur cyclists among us, taking place the Saturday (March 23) of the Twilight Festival. For more about the Granfondo, check out http://delraybeachtwilight.com/granfondo-ride.php. Registration for the event is $125 before the race and $140 race day. It includes a nice cycling jersey commemorating the Florida Granfondo.

For more information about the Delray Beach Twilight Festival, go to www.delraybeachtwilight.com or call 561-869-4916. For more information about the launch party, you can also check out Facebook, under Delray Beach Twilight Fesival.