Rudolph Run and parade coming to Strasburg Dec.

Rudolph Run and parade coming to Strasburg Dec.

Image Credit: Lori Feeney

A new 5k run/walk and Christmas Parade will be part of the Strasburg holiday festivities for the first time this year. The Rudolph Run and the parade are being organized by the Strasburg Parent Teacher Group with the goal of raising funds for the many activities and events the PTG makes possible.

The Rudolph Run will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Strasburg School’s administration building, 140 N. Bodmer Ave. The walk will begin at the same location at 10:15 a.m. Participants are encouraged to don their best holiday attire and compete for medals, which will be given to the top-three finishers in each category.

Justin Hite is not a member of the PTG, but his wife Kayla is. Hite said his wife felt the PTG needed a big event to raise funds. Hite has experience in event coordination and fundraising, having served seven years as the vice president of the Tuscarawas County Pony League.

“My goal in approaching the PTG was to lay the foundation for a signature event which can be continued for years down the road,” Hite said.

The race is part of the Ohio Challenge Series, sponsored by Subway and NovaCare. Hite said they are coordinating with the series in order to draw runners from outside of the Strasburg area.

Runners and walkers can preregister at the link on the Strasburg PTG Facebook page. There is even a virtual option for those who want to pay the registration fee and walk at home.

Those registered by Nov. 24 will be guaranteed a race T-shirt. The fee for the chip-timed Rudolph Run and the virtual walk is $35. Registration for the walk is $25.

“We are still seeking sponsors for the race and the parade,” Hite said. “Our goal is to have all costs covered so that all registration fees are profit.”

It’s high time for a parade

Hite said Strasburg hasn’t had a parade in quite a while. “I worked with a local 4-H group to put together a parade about six years ago, but a nasty weather storm came through, and it was canceled,” he said. “This parade will go on, rain, sleet or snow.”

The Christmas Parade will begin at the First Lutheran Church at 211 Eighth St. SW and proceed along Bodmer Avenue from Seventh to First Street. Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate at no charge.

Hite said he has already been contacted by 24 different groups interested in entering floats, although a float is not required.

Groups wanting to participate are encouraged to toss candy or hand out other items. “We just ask that they be in good taste,” Hite said. “The only rule for participating in the parade is please don’t wear a Santa costume. We don’t want to confuse the kids, and the official Santa will arrive in a fire truck at the end of the parade.”

Santa will be preceded by the Strasburg High School band playing Christmas songs. Hite said Santa will make a stop by the live nativity at St. John’s UCC. After that, it’s on to the fire station for a meet-and-greet with Santa, where children will receive a small gift and can get hot chocolate and cookies.

Preregistration for the parade is strongly recommended. Hite will announce groups and floats during the parade. “The registration form includes a section asking businesses to describe what they do in 50 words or less,” Hite said. “Then I’ll use that information to announce them during the parade.”

Ashley Bryant, a member of the PTG, is helping organize the new events. “Ultimately, we are doing this to help the PTG continue funding events for students like our Fall Fest, Trunk or Treat and back-to-school party.”

To preregister for the parade or the run, call Hite at 330-447-8175 or email hitejm@yahoo.com. For more information on the events, call Bryant at 330-806-2939 or email strasburgptg@gmail.com.