The University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Wintergreen Arts Center are teaming up again to present one of The County’s most unique and fun-filled 5K fundraisers—the Fifth Annual Color Presque Isle 5K, where participants dress in white and get showered with colored powder throughout the course. The event, which serves as a benefit for arts programming in Presque Isle, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. starting at Riverside Park. Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Color Presque Isle 5K events in past years have attracted hundreds of people of all ages, sizes and running abilities to take to the course, and raised thousands of dollars for downtown arts programming, and organizers are excited to do it all again.
“We are so pleased to be hosting our Color PI 5K again this year, and to be celebrating our milestone fifth year,” Rachel Rice, Color Presque Isle 5K event co-director with UMPI, said. “It’s so much fun to see families and friends gather together to get covered in color by our enthusiastic crew of volunteers. People always leave our events with big smiles and looking like walking works of art. It’s hard to believe that so much fun provides so much support for local arts programming, but we’re so glad it does and encourage everyone to come out on Aug. 26 to be a part of this very special event.”
Similar to other runs that have happened across the nation, this event involves volunteers dropping colored powder—it’s cornstarch-based, non-toxic and non-allergenic—on participants at various spots throughout the course, which begins at Riverside Park, heads up State St., stretches along Main St. to the UMPI campus, and loops back to Riverside Park.
“We’re very excited to celebrate the arts with our community for five years in a row with this special event and are packing in lots of fun, arts-focused activities before, during and after the 5K, including face painting and a kids’ art project,” Kim Guerrette-Michaud, event co-director and Wintergreen Arts Center board member, said. “We are incredibly grateful for all the community support we receive for this fun and family friendly event so that we can continue bringing high quality arts programming to our community.”
Funding from this year’s event will help to support scholarships and the after school program at Wintergreen Arts Center as well as UMPI’s Empty Bowls benefit and Visiting Artist Program.
Event organizers are pleased to have several sponsors on board. This year’s Blue level sponsors are MMG Insurance, North Country Auto, and Townsquare Media. Yellow level sponsors are Huber Engineered Woods, the Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee, TAMC, Ascend and PenAir. Green level sponsors are Machias Savings Bank and Katahdin Trust Company. Orange level sponsors are McCain Foods, United Insurance, County Federal Credit Union, Save-A-Lot, Bemis and Rossignol, Star City IGA, State Farm Insurance, Northern Athletic Supply, and the Hampton Inn.
Other local businesses are stepping up to help fill swag bags that will be handed out to participants while supplies last. This year’s T-shirts will be given out to the event’s first 100 registrants. For those who register after T-shirts run out, or who want to purchase T-shirts for children under 10, shirts will be available for purchase for $10 each at Northern Athletic Supply.
New this year, the course will feature seven color stations instead of six—with a new orange color station thanks to sponsor North Country Auto. All color stations are sponsored by local businesses and staffed with teams of volunteers dressed up to reflect specific themes. In addition, local photographers will be taking photos throughout the course, which will be available for purchase afterward.
At the finish line, hosted by students from Loring Job Corps Center, refreshments and water provided by TAMC will be awaiting participants. At a designated time near the end of the event, all participants and organizers will be invited to take part in a giant color throw. Color packets will be included in all swag bags, and more will be on sale the day of the event in case participants want to throw a little extra color during the 5K.
Because people have shown up to past Color PI 5K events with wigs, tutus and other fun-loving attire, organizers have decided to again host a Best Costume Contest and will be awarding prizes after the 5K in the individual, group, and kid categories. The grand prize is a People’s Choice award with the winner receiving 2 round trip tickets to Boston courtesy of PenAir. There will be other great prizes, including an overnight stay at the Hampton Inn in Presque Isle.
To add to the festivities, during and after the event there will be several activities available for participants and those cheering on 5Kers, including face painting, a kids’ art project, and the ice cream truck KTC’s Brain Freeze. Again this year, State Farm Insurance – John Harvell will sponsor a small ice cream cone for every kid.
Participants and community members are invited to help spread the word and the excitement for the upcoming Color Presque Isle 5K by liking the event’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/colorpi5k and by joining the conversation across social media platforms by using the tag #colorpi5k.
Event organizers are also asking participants to keep several things in mind ahead of the event. To get the most out of all that colored powder, participants are encouraged to wear white and may also want to consider wearing protective eyewear (swim goggles, sunglasses, etc.). This is not a timed event, so participants should feel free to take it at their own pace. Anyone attending the event is asked not to bring pets or bikes.
The registration fee is $40; children under 10 are free. Registration is payable by cash or check (or by credit card online until 5 p.m. on Aug. 25). The registration fee includes a T-shirt for the first 100 paid registrants and a color packet to use during the color throw. Course maps will be available at check-in, which will be underway on Friday, Aug. 25 from 6-8 p.m. at the Forum in Presque Isle, and on Saturday, Aug. 26 starting at 8 a.m. at Riverside Park. Register at www.umpi.edu/colorpresqueisle5k or in person at Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle.