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Fun Run leader works to build on celebration weekend

More than 100 expected to take part in 5K run and Youth Dash


A growing interest in building a festival weekend around the Beaverton Celebration Parade is helping the third annual Beaverton Fun Run become a signature late-summer event.

“What people used to do is go to the parade, then go home,” says Ernie Conway, founder of the 5-kilometer Fun Run. “Now, First Friday naturally fits in, leading into the weekend, along with the Farmers Market. And there’s something going on before the parade, with the Fun Run.”

On Sunday, the Bike Beaverton event extends the family-oriented fun.

“By having something before and after the parade, it provides a whole, full, long (weekend) of community activity around Central Beaverton,” Conway adds. “There’s a synergy of events.”

The 5K Fun Run, now in its third year, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 9 a.m., beginning at Griffith Park across from City Hall, 4755 S.W. Griffith Drive. Prior to the 5K, the Youth Dash run for children 10 years old and younger will take place in the Griffith Park “bowl.” The free event will be based on a 15-minute timer, with “winners” receiving ribbons, and balloons and cookies and bagels available to all participants.

The 5K is $7 per participant or $17, to include a commemorative shirt. Day-of registration is $10 (cash or check only). Proceeds after Fun Run expenses are met will go to benefit the Beaverton Police Activities League.

“It’s not a true fundraiser,” Conway says. “But it will be nice to give (PAL) a small donation.”

After Griffith, the Fun Run course will follow the Beaverton Celebration Parade route through town along Southwest Fifth Street and along Erickson Avenue, from where the course will divert to show off the newly renovated Evelyn M. Schiffler Park before exiting back to Erickson for a return to Griffith Park.

Mayor Denny Doyle said the run provides an ideal complement to the longstanding tradition that is the Beaverton Celebration Parade.

Last year’s event attracted nearly 100 runners. Based on those already registered as of Tuesday, that mark will be easily surpassed.

“I hope to see families and friends kick off the 56th annual Celebration Parade by running or walking in the 5K,” Doyle said. “This year, we’re proud to have a portion of the benefits go toward Beaverton PAL, an important resource for many kids in our community.”

Beginning in 1957, the Beaverton Celebration Parade has grown into an annual citywide tradition. With Leslie Mundt, retired parade coordinator, serving as grand marshal, this year’s parade begins on the Beaverton City Library lawn, 12375 S.W. Fifth St., across from City Park on Sept. 7 at 10 a.m.

After last year’s Fun Run, Conway said he worked with city leaders including Event Coordinator Victor Sin and Randy Ealy, chief administrative officer, to help shape a vision for the parade weekend that includes the Fun Run and Bike Beaverton events.

“Before, I was just doing it on my own,” Conway says of the Fun Run. “This year we agreed to have more cohesion.”

Working with city and police department officials, Conway helped coordinate a new loop following the parade route and highlighting the new Schiffler Park. The city agreed to help with what Conway calls “peripheral costs” to keep the registration fee down.

“There’s definitely a lot more excitement and interest now that the city is able to contribute,” he says, noting that water and logistics are much more streamlined than before. “Thanks to the city helping with peripheral costs, we’re keeping the (day-of-event) registration at $10 per person. That’s hard to beat for a family event.”

Rounding out the Beaverton Celebration Parade weekend is Bike Beaverton, a family-oriented bike ride and children’s rodeo on Sunday, Sept. 8, at City Park Fountain at Southwest Fifth Street and Hall Boulevard, by the Beaverton City Library. The Bike Rodeo is hosted by the Beaverton Police Department, which will provide free helmets and bicycle safety inspections at 1 p.m. The bike ride commences at 2 p.m., followed by a free ice cream social.

With the parade, Fun Run and Bike Beaverton taking place, along with regular weekend events such as First Friday and the Beaverton Farmers Market on Saturday by the library, the weekend offers a little something for everybody.

“You’ve got something to do that whole weekend,” Conway says. “It’s building a lot of excitement. I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of people.”

To register or for more information on the Fun Run, visit BeavertonFunRun.com.

For more information about the Beaverton Celebration Parade or Bike Beaverton, visit BeavertonOregon.gov.



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  • 31 Aug 2014

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