The University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Wintergreen Arts Center are teaming up to present one of The County’s most unique and fun-filled 5K fundraisers—the Second 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 downtown Presque Isle, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 9 a.m. starting at Riverside Park. Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Last year’s incredibly successful inaugural event—the first of its kind held in Aroostook County—saw over 400 people of all ages, sizes and running abilities take to the course, and organizers can’t wait to do it all again.
“We are so excited about all the community energy around this event,” Heather Sincavage, event co-director and Director of UMPI’s Reed Fine Art Gallery, said. “It is truly a collaborative effort all surrounding this one goal—support for the Arts in Aroostook County. I couldn’t think of a more whimsical way to get everyone out on a Saturday morning and leave looking like an Abstract Expressionist work of art!”
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 stretches from Riverside Park and follows the City of Presque Isle’s bike path down Chapman Street, around the UMPI campus and back to Riverside.
“The excitement from last year’s event can already be seen reinvigorated through the online buzz, shared photos and talk on the streets,” Rowena Forbes, event co-director and Wintergreen Arts Center Executive Director, said. “It’s incredibly inspiring to see the community support coming together once again. We are confident this will be another event people just don’t want to miss thanks to our generous sponsors and reflected in the growing number of registrants for this year’s Color Presque Isle 5K.”
Event organizers are pleased to have the Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee and Presque Isle Healthy Maine Streets program serve as the lead sponsor for the event. This year’s Blue level sponsors are MMG Insurance, UMPI’s Student Activities Office, and TAMC. This year’s Yellow Sponsors are Huber Engineered Woods and Northern Athletic Supply.
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. Those who don’t get their registration in soon enough but who still want a T-shirt will be able to purchase them for $10 each at Northern Athletic Supply.
This year’s course will feature four water stop areas, sponsored by local businesses and staffed with teams of volunteers dressed up to reflect specific themes. Organizers also hope to have local musicians stationed along the course again this year to provide music and motivation for 5K participants. 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, 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.
Event organizers are looking for volunteers to cover the registration table, prep and staff the route, be part of a water team, play music along the route, and, of course, throw colored powder. To register as a volunteer, please visitwww.umpi.edu/colorpresqueisle5k and click on Volunteer Sign-up. All are invited to attend a Volunteer Prep Meeting on Thursday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. at UMPI’s Campus Center. At that time, volunteers will be given their job duties for event day and get all their questions answered.
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.
As of Aug. 1, the registration fee is $40; children under 10 are free. Registration is payable by cash, check or credit card. The registration fee includes a T-shirt for the first 250 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. 29 from 5-8 p.m. at Wintergreen, and on Saturday, Aug. 30 starting at 8 a.m. at Riverside Park. Register at www.umpi.edu/colorpresqueisle5k or in person at Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle.