GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis in lights will be hosting its largest fundraiser of the year May 20 at 7 p.m., commonly known as the 5k Electric Run and Walk.
According to Gallipolis in Lights Co-Chair Shari Rocchi, Tristate Racer will time the event and activities will start on stage with 7 p.m. The Stringbenders will return to entertain crowds with music along with Jenny Walker and Mark Ward and New Jasper Station.
“We’re looking to maybe, possibly change up the course from last year just a tad,” said Rocchi. “It will be in the same area of First Avenue. But we’re thinking about starting it in the amphitheatre area this year and we have not made that final decision yet. We need to make sure we have time and distance figured out. It will be along First Avenue and basically the same.”
Currently, the Electric Run’s Facebook page event says 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.
Homes along the running course are encouraged to decorate for the race and out of town judges, said Rocchi, will be on hand to judge the homes and distribute awards.
“After-Glow” parties will be held at Uncle Kenny’s and Courtside Bar and Grill once the race is over.
Gallipolis in Lights brought itself together in the winter of 2013 to spread displays across Gallipolis City Park and hang “light balls” in trees. The idea for the ornament was made popular in Greensboro, N.C., but was quickly adopted to suit Gallipolis’ needs. Individuals skillfully wrap chicken wire, or some other similar fencing material, into a sphere. Christmas lights, or ever-popular LED fixtures, are laced through the wire and then hung on a tree. When done properly, a group of light balls seen in the dark may remind one of a mini-solar system hung throughout a back yard or park.
The group has hung over 1,000 light balls over the years.
The group started as a series of discussions held on social media sites when local residents felt the lighting displays of previous holiday seasons they had witnessed as children were not being demonstrated in the present day community. Those individuals banded together to create the Gallipolis in Lights initiative.
For more information, visit the Gallipolis in Lights Facebook page.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.