BELLEVILLE — A 5K run and walk will continue the city's bicentennial festivities and raise funds for the Belleville 200 Weekend Celebration scheduled in September.
"We were looking for another fundraiser to help fund the big celebration in the fall," said Jules Hunter, a Belleville 200 Committee member who is organizing the Bicentennial 5K.
The race is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 25 before the Bicentennial Parade. The 3.1-mile loop starts and ends at Union United Methodist Church, 721 E. Main St., and goes out and back on East and West Main streets.
It's the same route as the parade, so runners will have built in crowd support cheering them on to the finish, Hunter said.
"It's also a way just to get families out together and celebrate Belleville in a healthy way," Hunter said.
Students in grades eight and younger will be able to run at no cost, thanks to sponsorship by Memorial Hospital and UMB Bank. But students should register no later than Friday for the free status, Hunter said.
Registration can be brought before close at 4:30 p.m. Friday to the Belleville Parks and Recreation Department, 510 W. Main St. The students' schools should be written on the registration form, Hunter said.
More than 60 students already are signed up, including several Girls on the Run groups, Hunter said.
"And the parents are signing up, too, so it's going to be a family event," she said. "People are bringing the whole family out."
Hunter said some participants plan to push their youngsters in strollers.
All registrants will receive a technical T-shirt with the bicentennial logo and post-race food. Everyone who finishes the race will receive a green, gold and black finisher's medal marking Belleville's 200 year celebration.
The cost to participate is $25 through April 23. If you register after April 23, the cost goes up to $30. Normal costs apply to students who register after Friday.
Register in person at Belleville Parks and Recreation or online at https://register.chronotrack.com//reg/form?eventID=6704&lc=en.
Debbie Belleville, the director of Belleville Parks and Recreation, said the first 200 registrants will run wearing a gold-colored bib.
As of Wednesday, more than 300 people had signed up for the race.
"The event is for everybody, runners and walkers," Hunter said. "It's for everybody in the city of Belleville to get out and celebrate being 200 years old."
The Belleville Bicentennial includes a year full of celebrations that will culminate Sept. 19-21 as part of a Oktoberfest at Belleville Public Square. The Beach Boys, along with other bands, will perform.
Contact reporter Maria Hasenstab at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2460.
Belleville Bicentennial 5K
6 p.m. April 25 at Union United Methodist Church, 721 E. Main St.
COST: $25 through April 23; $30 after April 23
SIGN UP: Belleville Parks and Recreation Department, 510 W. Main St. or online at https://register.chronotrack.com//reg/form?eventID=6704&lc=en