Festival to kick off with 5K

A new fun event for the family is being incorporated into a local Fourth of July festival this year.
The St. Joe Firecracker 5K Run/Walk is scheduled to take place on July 2. Registration the day of the race will begin at 7:45 a.m. and the race is slated to start at 9 a.m. at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.
The event is sponsored by St. Joseph Church and is in conjunction with the St. Joe Fourth of July Festival. For a registration form, go to www.speedy-feet.com, and select the “races” tab.
“This is the first year for it, and we hope to make it an annual event,” event co-chair Barb Harrod said.
Harrod said the idea to incorporate the 5K into the St. Joseph Fourth of July Festival came about after she attended a 5K run last year with her family during the Fryburg festival.
“We had a great time,” Harrod said. “We thought this would be a great thing to incorporate into the festival.”
Harrod is organizing the event, along with her sister Beth Steiner. Parking and registration will be at the east gate of the Auglaize County Fairgrounds, and the 5K will start at the front gate of the fairgrounds.
The route travels east on Auglaize Street with a turn toward the St. Joseph Church, and finishing back at the East entrance of the fairgrounds. This course is almost completely flat.
There will be door prizes awarded at the end of the race, including running supplies, gift certificates and tickets to use at the St. Joe’s Fourth of July Festival on July 3 and July 4.
Also a drawstring bag filled with free goodies will be handed out to each participant in the 5K.
Harrod said the idea to do this race on a Saturday, prior to the festival, was so it would be accessible for local people.
“We thought Saturday would be an easier day for people to attend,” Harrod said.
Medals will be given to the top three males and females in each age group, along with a trophy given to the top male and female.
Harrod noted that this this event can be anything a participant wants it to be, including a competition, exercise, a walk with friends, a family gathering, a challenge to yourself or just a fun time.
Proceeds from this event will be used to support many programs throughout the community of Wapakoneta and St. Joseph Parish, including youth events, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, outreach programs and various other ministries.
The mission of the race is to promote fitness among men, women and children and invite everyone to participate in running and walking to enhance their physical, mental and emotional well being and to gather and enjoy camaraderie and friendship while celebrating the Fourth of July and appreciating freedom.