The region’s largest and most colorful 5K is back and organizers have plenty of excitement in store. The University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Wintergreen Arts Center will present the Sixth Annual Color Presque Isle 5K on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 9 a.m. starting at Riverside Park. Registration begins at 8 a.m. All are encouraged to take advantage of the early bird rate, being offered for the first time for only $25 through July 31. Registration is $35 starting Aug. 1.
Color Presque Isle is an event 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, has 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.
“We’re excited to be bringing the Color PI 5K back for at least one more year, and to celebrate the arts and local arts programming in this truly unique way,” Rachel Rice, Color Presque Isle 5K event co-director with UMPI, said. “We have amazing volunteers, a brand new route, and look forward to seeing hundreds of smiling faces at this year’s event.”
Similar to other runs that have happened across the country, this event involves volunteers dropping colored powder—it’s cornstarch-based, non-toxic and non-allergenic—on participants at various spots throughout the course. This year’s route begins at Riverside Park, heads down Chapman St., loops around the UMPI campus along the bike path, stretches down Main St., links to Riverside Dr., heads back down Chapman St., and hangs a right at the bike path to head back to Riverside Park.
“We love celebrating the arts with our community during this special event every year and have lots of fun planned, including a bubble extravaganza activity for kids near the finish line,” Kim Guerrette-Michaud, event co-director and Wintergreen Arts Center board member, said. “We are so thankful for the community support we receive each year that allows us to 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. To date, this year’s Blue level sponsor is MMG Insurance. Yellow level sponsors are North Country Auto, Huber Engineered Woods, State Farm Insurance, Save A Lot, and TAMC. Green level sponsors are Machias Savings Bank, Presque Isle Kiwanis Club, and Katahdin Trust Company. Orange level sponsors are County Federal Credit Union, Columbia Forest Products Foundation, Mapleton Oil, United Insurance, Bemis & Rossignol, SAD#1 Adult & Community Education, and the Hampton Inn.
This year’s course will feature six color stations, 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 and emceed by WAGM-TV’s Katie Zarrilli, refreshments and water provided by TAMC will be awaiting participants. Also on site will be the bubble extravaganza activity for kids. 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 handed out at the finish line, and more will be on sale the day of the event in case participants want to throw a little extra color during the 5K.
New this year, all those who register will be entered for a chance to win an overnight stay at the Hampton Inn in Presque Isle.
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 early bird registration fee is $25 until July 31; it increases to $35 on Aug. 1. Children under 10 are free and must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is payable by cash or check (or by credit card online until 4 p.m. on Aug. 10). The registration fee includes an event bib, a color packet to use during the color throw, and a chance to win an overnight stay at the Hampton Inn. Course maps will be available at check-in, which will be underway on Friday, Aug. 10 from 6-8 p.m. at Wintergreen Arts Center, and on Saturday, Aug. 11 starting at 8 a.m. at Riverside Park. Register at www.umpi.edu/colorpresqueisle5k or in person at Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle.