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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Thanksgiving 5K and tree lighting will help set holiday mood

Nov 06, 2018 01:44PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Racers get ready for the 2012 edition of the Thanksgiving Day 5k. (From the Cottonwood Heights City Facebook page)

By Joshua Wood | [email protected]

Cottonwood Heights will kick off the holiday season with a number of special activities designed to set the festive mood. Residents can enjoy holiday lights and activities starting this Thanksgiving.

For those looking for some outdoor fun and to fend off holiday calories in advance, the annual Thanksgiving 5K will be held on Thanksgiving morning on Nov. 22. The race will start at 9:00 a.m. in the south parking lot of the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center next to Butler Middle School.

“An exciting aspect to our race is the ‘Beat the Mayor’ aspect, where runners have to beat the mayor to the finish line to receive a commemorative medal,” said Warren Hallmark, the recreation and fitness manager at Cottonwood Heights Parks and Recreation. “Mayor Peterson has run in this race for years, but this will be his first go as mayor.”

The race will offer age division awards as well as overall awards for men and women. Late registration ends on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Participants can register the day before or the day of the race, though the race will be capped at 2,000 runners.

“New this year is that for every registration, we will donate one dollar to the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center Foundation, which is our own foundation that provides financial assistance to families and children,” said Hallmark. “(It) gives them the opportunity to utilize the recreation center and participate in lessons and/or programs if they otherwise do not have the means.”

On Monday, Nov. 26, Cottonwood Heights will hold its Light Up the Heights event at City Hall. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. when attendees can socialize and enjoy the festive atmosphere. The event will feature craft vendors from throughout the community. Visitors can shop for holiday gifts and get ideas for fun crafts to help capture the spirit of the season. Craft vendors will available until 7:30 p.m. on the night of the event.

Also starting at 5 p.m., children will have the opportunity to write letters to Santa. There will be a special Santa letter writing station. Live entertainment will be provided from 5–7 p.m.

The festivities will lead up to the outdoor tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. just outside City Hall. The tree lighting ceremony will include a singalong, and hot chocolate will help keep attendees warm.

From festive lighting to preemptive Thanksgiving exercise, the holiday season gets into swing later in November.