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Plenty of activities set for 41st annual Volkslaufe
The 41st running of the annual Volkslaufe (People’s Race), presented by the Frankenmuth Jaycees, will make for an extended weekend in Frankenmuth.
All activities center around Heritage Park and the Harvey Kern Community Pavilion. Following are a few notes regarding the event.
The two-day event will begin Sunday evening, July 3, with the racing taking place on Monday, July 4.
Last year, approximately 2,500 participants signed up for 2K, 5K, 10K and 20K, with 2,225 finishing. Christy Kuczynski is this year’s race chairperson and she and co-chair, Amanda Weiss, have added more Volkslaufe Eve activities this year.
For the first time in many years, there is a change to the course. The 5K race will head south on Weiss Street, turn west on Jefferson Street and then head north on Main Street, crossing the Cass River and then heading west and north on Cass Street, resuming the usual route.
The committee changed the route in order to avoid crossing runner and walker traffic on the Holzbruecke. The course is United States Track Federation certified.
“We wanted to avoid two-way traffic for the safety of the runners and walkers,” Kuczynski said.
* Runner registration and check-in will be open on Sunday in Heritage Park. 5-10pm. The Runner Marketplace will also be open in the pavilion, 5-9pm, in the Harvey Kern Community Pavilion. The event will feature paperless registration and the committee encourages walk-up registrants as well.
Other Sunday events include the spaghetti dinner served in the Lion Haus, 5-7:30pm; free children’s activities, including inflatables, from 5-9:30pm, and the annual Jaycees Fireworks at approximately 10:15pm. Wolverine Fireworks will feature an expanded show.
Entertainment has always been provided in Heritage Park and this year’s headliner is national recording artist Mandi Layne & the Lost Highway, a local country and western band, performing 6-10pm. DJ Leo Keith will also be playing tunes in the Sommer Garten.
Refreshments will be provided through the r Stand,” with Frankenmuth Brewery beers and root beer.
The committee has added these new activities to the Eve: CEC Corn Hole Tourney, Karaoke, yard games, color war water balloon fight and a VIP area for veterans and active duty service members with a special military tribute and refreshments in the Military Outreach Tent.
The Cornhole Tourney is $40 per team with open registration starting at 5pm and the competition at 6pm. Visit www.bavarianfestival.org and follow the links to pre-register.
* Monday, July 4 will have race registration 6-10:30am, a pancake breakfast served in the Lion Haus 7-10am and the National Anthem and invocation at 7:50am.
The racing action begins with the 10K at 8am, the 20K at 8:10am, the 5K at 10am, the 5K walk at 10:02am and the 2K Fun Run at 11am.
A cannon will be fired to start each race. Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland is sponsoring the 10K race, with Family Foot & Ankle Care sponsoring the 20K race, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant sponsoring the 5K run and walk and Jaami’s Ice Cream & Treats sponsoring the 2K Fun Run.
The concessions, including food, beverages and Runner Marketplace will be open 6am until 1pm. The American Culinary Federation will also staff the chicken barbecue pit.
The Frankentrost Band will play during the morning, until the noon awards ceremony under the Jaycee Pavilion. Custom-made German steins are awarded to first, second and third place finishers in each age division for both male and female competitors in the 5K run and walk and 5K, 10K and 20K runs. Larger. 2.5-liter German steins will be awarded to the overall first-place men’s and women’s finishers in the 5K, 10K and 20k races.
The age divisions are 13 and under, 14-17, 18-23, 24-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, and 75 and over.
The Best Dressed Competition will continue. Organizers encourage runners and walkers to let their imagination run and show off their spirit as the nation celebrates its 240th birthday. Officials will select the top contenders, they will be judged by popular vote prior to the awards ceremony and the top three will win prizes.
* Frankenmuth Police Sergeant Tony McLaughlin advises locals to be aware of traffic delays both days.
Traffic is usually backed up on Weiss Street following the fireworks displays as well as other sites near the Cass River, where prime viewing takes place.
Traffic is also congested 8am until about 11-11:30am along the routes, especially the mid-town neighborhoods west of Main Street and Main Street and Covered Bridge Lane.
“Please plan your morning accordingly if you are traveling through town,” McLaughlin said.
* The Jaycees have a few volunteer opportunities available for various shifts and details both days. Please contact Danielle Daugharty at 989-529-9926 or at her email address, email@example.com.
* The Jaycees also have a pair of special donations that have become a part of the Volkslaufe over the past years.
The Soles4Souls will be presented by the Cobbler’s Bench of Frankenmuth. The Jaycees ask persons to help fight poverty by donating gently-used shoes. They will have a collection site inside the Kern Pavilion. Please visit www.soles4souls.org for more information.
The Medals4Mettle is an organization where endurance runners have the opportunity to pay it forward by enabling the gifting and awarding of earned half-marathon, marathon and triathlon medals to others who demonstrate similar mettle or courage, as they face life’s challenges.
A collection site will also be located inside the Kern Pavilion. For more information, visit www.medals4mettle.org.
Additional 2016 Volkslaufe sponsors include Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Frankenmuth Brewery, Frankenmuth Insurance, Waste Management, Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, Frankenmuth Jellystone Park, Slo’ Bones BBQ Smokehaus, T𠆝ub’s Pizzeria & Pub, Grasel Graphics, McDonald’s of Frankenmuth, Weiss Equipment, daVinci’s Italian Restaurant, Schaefer & Bierlein, United Dairy of Michigan, Star of the West Milling Company, Cobbler’s Bench and Independence Village.
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