Turkey Trot registration opens

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -If you’re wanting to burn some calories before feasting on Thanksgiving day, then now is the time to sign up for the 28th annual Turkey Trot!

The Turkey Trot is an annual tradition for many families across the Ozarks. Thousands of people hit the streets of downtown Springfield helping support local charities. This year the race will happen in person for the first time since 2019. The Springfield Greene County Park Board hosts the annual 5k.

“During the pandemic years, we went virtual,” said Jenny Filmer Edwards, Public Information Officer for the Springfield Greene County Park Board. “Our registrations were around 2000 more or less the last two years so we’re really hoping to get back to 7000 which is our average for a regular year. We had 9000 one year and the weather was beautiful that year. So if we have good weather that always helps out, but this is for a good cause.”

The money raised benefits the Springfield Greene County Park Board, the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and Ozark’s food harvest.

“The park board youth Scholarship Fund, which helps kids go to camps and take classes and play sports who may not be able to afford that otherwise,” said Edwards. “It also benefits the developmental center of the Ozarks here in Springfield, and serves as one of the largest single-day food drives for Ozark’s Food Harvest.”

Park board leaders are excited to see runners and walkers hitting the downtown streets.

“Most people who do turkey trot are walking,” said Edwards. “Many are pushing a stroller, many are walking a dog. Lots of people show up in costumes, matching hand-knit Turkey hats, we’ve seen all kinds of different costumes and it’s a lot of fun. And it’s just really a great thing to do with a group, especially if you have family and friends coming in from out of town for Thanksgiving, your house may start to feel a little bit crowded. It’s great to be able to all go out and do an activity together and then come home. Everybody’s hungry for Thanksgiving lunch.”

Runners can register for this year’s race by mail, online or in person.

Online registration is open now through Tues., Nov. 22, 11:59 pm Online transaction fee up to 13 percent applies.

Or return a Paper Registration now through Fri., Nov. 18, 5 p.m (postmarked by Nov. 15.)

After that, register in person only Wed., Nov. 23, 8 am- 6 pm, or Thurs., Nov. 24, 6-7:15 am at Springfield Expo Center.

Early Bird registration, now through Fri., Nov. 18, 5 pm, is $25/Adults, $20/Kids 12 and under

Full Price registration, Fri., Nov. 18, 5 pm, through Thurs., Nov. 24, 7:15 am, is $35/Adults, $30/Kids 12 and under

Packet pick-up is held in-person on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 8 am-5:30 pm at Springfield Expo Center. Participants may also register on-site and drop off five non-perishable food items for Ozarks Food Harvest. Historically, Turkey Trot is one of the group’s largest food drives of the year. The Park Board is also collecting food donations in barrels placed at multiple park facilities.

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