Utica Lucky Leprechuan Race celebrates St. Patrick’s Day early

By Stephanie Sokol

Running, walking and a costume contest will have people seeing green in Downtown Utica this Saturday morning, for the city’s Lucky Leprechaun Race.

“We thought Utica would be a great spot to host the race, because of the rich Irish heritage and restaurants in the area,” race chairman Thomas Gray said.

The event begins with a costume contest at 10 a.m., followed by the 5K run/walk at 10:30 and Green Mile run/walk at 10:35. Contest and event winners will be awarded gift cards from Dick’s Sporting Goods.

The goal of the event is to encourage health and wellness, in addition to bringing tourists and raising money to build new trails in the area, according to Gray.

Sponsors include the Macomb Health and Fitness Foundation; Macomb Children Hands-on Museum;  and The City of Utica Parks and Recreation, Gray said.

“I think the event is wonderful,” said Joseph Mayernick, Chairman of the Utica DDA and local businessman. “It brings people to the community and helps local businesses. Anytime you have 500 or 600 people downtown, it’s good- it gets the city exposure.”

Before the race, downtown Utica roads will be closed. Beginning at 7 a.m., Auburn and Cass Avenue will be shut down, expanding to closures on other side streets during the event, Police Chief Dave Faber said.

The 5K is $25 and the one-mile race is $20, when runners enter the code “GETLUCKY.”  Registration to participate or volunteer is available online at www.luckyleprechaunraces.com