GALLIPOLIS — The holiday season makes a spring visit as the Gallipolis in Lights 5k Run and Walk returns this Saturday with participants anticipated to glitz and glow in as they trot through downtown.
According to GIL Co-Chair Shari Rocchi, music and events are anticipated to begin at 7 p.m. in Gallipolis City Park. The Stringbenders are anticipated to perform as well as the three winners of the Gallipolis in Lights Open Mic Night previously hosted at the Colony Club. Grace Polsley, Grace Sydnor and LeNae Scott will perform as those winners.
“(GIL) brings in so many people from out of the area,” said Rocchi. “It brings recognition to Gallipolis. If we didn’t have things like the Glow Run for fundraisers, we could not be funding this kind of light display. It’s important to our community and us as Gallipolis in Lights.”
Inflatables will be in the park from 7 to 9 p.m. The race starts at 9 p.m. Area personality Spencer Adkins is anticipated to return to announce the race. Participants are encouraged to wear their best glow and light outfits. The course will begin along State Street beside Gallipolis City Park. It will journey through First Avenue to Vine Street, then to Sycamore Street and end back at the park. The course is on flat-paved ground
There will be nine age categories for participants to compete in. Run awards go to the top female and male winners of the 5k run. Best glow-in-the-dark outfits will receive awards based on age group as participants are encouraged to gear up in all manner of lights and color.
An After-Glow party will be held at Courtside Grill and Bar. Properties along the running course are anticipated to be decorated for the event.
With around 1,800 light balls formed out of chicken wire and further lighting displays marking the Christmas holiday, GIL members spend months in preparation for the displays. The group also hosts the five kilometer Electric Walk and Run followed by After Glow parties in May to serve as the group’s largest fundraiser of the year.
Balls are traditionally hung in mid to late October in Gallipolis City Park and the GIL Lighting Ceremony is held the night before Thanksgiving. GIL volunteers attempt to bring something new to the lighting ceremony yearly and Rocchi said visitors can expect another big surprise this November.
For more information, visit the Gallipolis in Lights Facebook page or its tristateracer.com event page.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.