The Oktoberfest, an event that takes place annually to benefit St. Joseph Catholic School, will be held this Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Ellis County Expo on West U.S. Highway 287 Bypass.

This year is also the second year the Chick-fil-A 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run will take place during Oktoberfest.

“It is a run, walk or crawl,” Oktoberfest co-chairman Beth Boles-Terminella said. “If you want to push your stroller, you are welcome to do so. We had a man last year that was recovering from a stroke who completed the one-mile with a walker. You can also bring your dog, but please keep them on a leash. Parents can pull their kids in a wagon.”

Registration and check in for both races will be held inside the expo center from 7-8:30 a.m. the day of the race. A warm-up takes place at 8:15 a.m. and both races begin at 8:35. The awards presentation for the winners of the one-mile run will be held at 9:15, followed by an awards presentation for the 5K run at 9:30.

The overall male and female winners in the 5K race will be awarded a trophy and a one-year Chick-fil-A coupon book. First, second and third place finishers in each age division of the 5K receive a medal and the first place finisher in each 5K division wins a one-year Chick-fil-A coupon book.

Awards for the one-mile race include a one-month Chick-fil-A coupon book for the first place finishers in each age division.

The 5K course is a loop that proceeds uphill to the overpass east of the expo entrance. Runners turn right onto the overpass and again turn right to run west on the opposing service road. The grade is generally downhill for a little more than a mile until runners make consecutive rights to pass under the highway and return to the original service road. After a short climb, runners crest the hill and see the finish line a short distance ahead.

The one-mile course is an out-and-back type course that begins in the opposite direction of the 5K race. Runners proceed to the turn-around point, which will be marked with an orange cone, and return to the finish line. A volunteer will be on hand to ensure the cone is easily located.

Timing results will be posted as soon as they are available, shortly after the conclusion of the race.

The Waxahachie Police Department is in charge of traffic control and will close all roads involved with the course, including entrances and exits to the expo, during the race. For the safety of all the runners, no traffic will be allowed on the roads involved with the 5K race until the race is complete.

Boles-Terminella said the Oktoberfest committee chose to include a 5K and one-mile fun run to the list of activities offered to make the event more health conscious.

“It adds a healthy aspect to the event that anyone anywhere can participate in and we’re partnering with Chick-fil-A because they promote healthy lifestyles,” said Boles-Terminella, who said the races will be championship-timed by Runfar Racing System.

“We do get runners from all over the North Texas area,” said Boles-Terminella of the numerous participants in every age group and skill level.

“We are excited to sponsor this event for the second year around,” Chick-fil-A owner and operator Philip Browne said. “Judging from the turnout last year, we are expecting an impressive crowd for this year’s event.

“When looking for an event to call our own, this event seemed to be the perfect fit with Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A promotes good health and that means being healthy in mind, body and spirit.

“We are grateful that SJCS is allowing us to participate in this event again this year,” Browne said. “They are a quality group of people to work with.”

The Oktoberfest also includes the Burleson’s Pure Honey Bake Off, entertainment, a karaoke contest, a washer tournament, live and silent auctions, raffle drawings, vendor booths, a biergarten and food.

A children’s area includes about a dozen carnival-type children’s games such as redneck golf, balloon darts and a Star Wars activity.

In addition to barbecue brisket and all the trimmings being prepared and served by the Knights of Columbus, other food vendors include those selling roasted nuts and ice cream desserts.

Vendors selling or displaying products and services include crafts, children’s clothing, yard and garden art, cosmetics and skin care products, portrait photography, jewelry, dolls, toys, kitchen utensils, packaged food mixes and more.

Some vendors also will host activities for children, including sand art, face painting and girlie makeovers. For information on booth rentals, contact Carol Watson at (972) 923-0095.

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