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 Fourth 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. 27 at 9 a.m. starting at Riverside Park. Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Color Presque Isle 5K events in the last three 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. Needless to say, organizers are excited to do it all again.
“This is an event we look forward to all year long. We love seeing families and friends gather together to get covered in color, and watching our very enthusiastic crew of volunteers oblige them. Everyone has a ball, leaves looking like a walking work of art, and, of course, helps to support local arts programming in the process,” Rachel Rice, Color Presque Isle 5K event co-director with UMPI, said. “We have lots of fun in store—including another Best Costume Contest with even more great prizes—and encourage everyone to join us during our event on August 27.”
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 and loops around to the UMPI campus and back. This year’s route again includes a stretch along Main St. from State St. to the UMPI campus.
“We’re very excited to celebrate the arts with our community for the fourth time 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 community mural 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 sponsor is MMG Insurance. Yellow level sponsors are Huber Engineered Woods, the Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee, Presque Isle Healthy Maine Streets, TAMC, Katahdin Trust Company, Northern Athletic Supply, and PenAir. Green level sponsors are Machias Savings Bank, McCain Foods, and State Farm Insurance. Orange level sponsors are United Insurance and Star City IGA.
Other local businesses are stepping up to help fill 400 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 250 registrants. For those who register after T-shirts run out, or who want to purchase T-shirts for children under 10, shirts will be able to purchase for $10 each at Northern Athletic Supply.
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 with proceeds to benefit arts in the downtown. Selected photos will be featured in an exhibit this coming winter at the Wintergreen Arts Center.
At the finish line, hosted by the Aroostook Autism Support Group, 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. Other prizes include an overnight stay at the Hampton Inn in Presque Isle and a one-month membership at County Physical Therapy.
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 community mural and the ice cream truck KTC’s Brain Freeze.
Participants and community members are also 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. 26). The registration fee includes a T-shirt for the first 250 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. 26 from 6-8 p.m. at Wintergreen Arts Center, and on Saturday, Aug. 27 starting at 8 a.m. at Riverside Park. Register at www.umpi.edu/colorpresqueisle5k or in person at Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle.