Basin Recreation to host annual Celebrate the Spirits
If you happen to see a large group of people, ages ranging from adults to children, dressed in costumes running toward candy a few days before Halloween, don’t be alarmed.
No, they didn’t forget what day the October holiday falls. Chances are you are watching one of two races the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District is conducting for its Celebrate the Spirits event that takes place on Saturday.
The event, now in its fifth year, hosts five-kilometer and one-mile races on Millennium Trail for all ages at Newpark Plaza, where participants are encouraged to dress in costumes and fuel up on goodies at the various trick or treat stations set up throughout the race courses.
“It’s an awesome event because we have all ages,” Basin Recreation’s Recreation Manager Brian Kadziel said. “Whether they are walking a stroller or they’re jogging or [taking their] first steps for little kids or adults who run the 5k, everybody is dressed up in costumes. We really try to push it to both markets. People that want to take their run seriously and people that just want to run and get rewarded by candy along the way. It’s a fun community event.”
While the event is meant to be a fun event for everyone involved, it originated out of grief. Six years ago, Basin Recreation’s District Director Brian Hanton’s mother-in-law, Donna Weymouth, who was a huge fan of Halloween, passed away.
During her lifetime, Weymouth loved everything about the spooky holiday, from the costumes to the candy to the kids going from house to house with their families.
She also loved the idea of helping others in the community, especially the youth. In order to honor her memory, Hanton created Celebrate the Spirits, in which all things Halloween and fundraising are included in one event. Basin Recreation even has banners and signs set up at the event with Weymouth’s name on them.
“She loved helping people, so we thought we’d tie in benefitting the youth in Park City and trying to raise funds for our scholarship,” Kadziel said. “It kind of went hand in hand and now we’re in our fifth year. … It’s always fun to run something that means something to us.”
The fundraising comes from runners who pay to register, as well as sponsors that include Shining Stars and Switchback Sports. You can sign up to run in the races as an individual or as a family. Either way, it is cheaper if you register online prior to race day.
“We have sponsors along the race route that have donated their time and money to help Basin Recreation to raise money for our scholarship fund, [which is] used throughout the year to provide underprivileged youth in our sport programs and our camps so that they can get into those for a more affordable price,” Kadziel said.
Like most events here in Park City, Celebrate the Spirits is somewhat weather-dependent since the races take place outside. Basin Recreation likes to hold the event the weekend before Halloween and the week after UEA weekend, which usually provides a window of downtime for locals to sign up and participate. Last year, the event brought close to 300 people, according to Kadziel.
Due to UEA pushing its convention back a week, Kadziel and company were forced to push the event to Halloween weekend. Knowing that there are other events going on during this time, Kadziel is expecting a lower number in terms of registered runners, but hopes the amount of fun had will remain the same.
“I would say around 150-200 people should be kind of our target mark for this,” he said.
Whether you are trying to beat your personal record for fastest road race in a costume or you just want to get an early jump on collecting candy, Celebrate the Spirits provides a welcome atmosphere for all. Races are scheduled to start at 11 a.m.
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