Organizers of the annual Runnin O’ the Green this Saturday expect a bigger turnout with a forecast for sunshine and a high of 36 degrees.
Usually occurring around St. Patrick’s Day, the annual fundraiser was rescheduled so to not conflict with the NAIA Women’s Wrestling National Invitational Tournament last weekend.
There were 1,776 registered participants for the 2018 event and 1,725 who registered for the 2017 Run, said Larry Knoblich, event founder, following last year’s event. It’s important for participants to pay the $10 registration fee as the funds support people fighting cancer and Camp Grassick, an Elks of North Dakota summer camp for children and adults with disabilities, he said.
“Register for the Run,” said Scott Edinger, chief of the Jamestown Police Department. “This is a charitable event and the whole thing is intended to raise money for charity.”
Preregister today at Cork & Barrel Liquors, 1902 8th Ave SW., the Elks Lodge at 324 2nd Ave SW., or Wildside Creations Inc., 103 4th St. NE. The route map is printed on the registration name tag.
Same-day registration takes place outside Frontier Fort Bar & Grill at 1838 3rd Ave SE. The lineup starts there at 11 a.m., with timed runners starting at 2 p.m., followed by the casual runners and walkers over the next few hours.
Many participants dress in costume or at least in Kelly green to navigate an 11-pub route through the streets of Jamestown. Route barriers help keep pedestrians safe and contain the drinking inside the bars or in the enclosed areas set up outside them along the route.
“There won’t be many changes from last year,” Edinger said.
Staff of Frontier Fort Bar & Grill said there will be three outdoor bars and hamburger and hotdog concessions starting around 10:30 a.m. The indoor bar will also be open.
Once the participants make their way down the hill and through McElroy Park, the stops are listed as The Buff, Knights of Columbus Hall, the Elks club (the Run sponsor), Jonny B’s Brickhouse, Wonder Bar Sports Bar, Corner Bar, Office Bar, Fred’s Den, All Vets Club and Shady’s Restaurant and Lounge in Gladstone Inn & Suites.
Andrea Huus, food and beverage manager for the Gladstone Inn & Suites, said the hotel lobby will be set up as a food court for anyone with five stations to choose from. A DJ from Pirate Radio will be playing music and entertaining guests from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., she said.
“We’ve done this for quite a few years now,” Huus said. “I think the crowd will be all right as it should be a nice day after a long winter and people are ready to go outside.”
The nicer weather might mean melting snow will make the trail wet leading down the hill to McElroy Park, Edinger said.
“The hill is always a concern,” he said. “We will have a tracked vehicle to extract anyone from the hill if they are injured.”
Participants need to be aware that cups or open containers of alcoholic beverages may not be taken outside of the barriers, he said. Other problems with people unfamiliar with the event tend to be public urination and the occasional fight, he said.
“Like always we will have our normal shift handling the daily city business and a separate group of officers rotating in and out of the Run route throughout the event,” Edinger said.
Jamestown Municipal Court will hold temporary court at the Jamestown Fire Department to handle minor offenses related to the Run, Edinger said. The offenders are processed, bonded and released, he said.
Nice weather usually means bigger crowds that tend to enjoy being outside, Edinger said. The crowds herd indoors for bad weather events and the lack of space and drinking can create problems with tempers, he said.
“Be nice to each other and enjoy the day,” Edinger said.
Knoblich, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, has said previously that the Runnin O’ the Green was not designed to promote drinking. Participants need only purchase one beverage at each stop and it can be non-alcoholic, he said.
To encourage people not to drink and drive, volunteers with Jerry Iverson Construction are serving as designated drivers from 10:30 a.m Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday. Participants need only call 701-320-3751 or 701-658-0087. The drivers accept donations that also go to support the Run.
For more information on the Runnin O’ the Green, call the event headquarters at 252-5228