BRADENTON -- Runners and walkers with bells on their toes will provide the sounds of the holidays Friday during the 19th annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis in downtown Bradenton.
The 5K runners and walkers, decked out in holiday costumes with bells affixed to their footwear, will jingle all the way from Old Main Street, down Riverfront Drive, "only to circle back and end up back on Old Main Street," said Michelle Bass, community development specialist with the Arthritis Foundation.
Registration and check-in begins at 5:30 p.m., the 5K starts at 7 p.m. and the 1-mile walk start at 7:10 p.m.
The ratio of runners to walkers is "60-40," Bass said, adding Santas, elves and reindeer have been abundant in the past but there will be others who let their imaginations run wild.
For example, Bass pointed to "Jen Urban of Urban Plumbing Services who comes in really crazy costumes and usually in red-and-white-striped tights. She's fun."
Participant teams raise funds for the fight against arthritis, which impacts one in three Floridians. The local foundation this year raised more than $66,000 of the $90,000 it pledged, putting it more than two-thirds of the way to its goal.
The national goal is about $6.5 million and more than 100 races nationwide, as well as other events, contribute.
After participants return to Old Main Street, the foundation has arranged for a DJ, photos with Santa and a chance to visit with Elsa and Anna from the movie "Frozen."
Residents along the race route have been alerted of the 2,000 expected participants and barricades, cones and law-enforcement officers will be in place. Traffic lights at Ninth Street West and Third Avenue West will be affected between 6:55 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., said Tom Orehowsky of the Bradenton Runners Club.
"This is a historical event for downtown Bradenton that has been going for so long that it draws people who love seeing an older event in their town and they turn out for it year after year," Bass said.
Information: Call 941-708-3901, 800-850-9455 or 941-720-1874, visit jbrbradenton.kintera.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Jingle 5K run/walk, this one benefiting the Pediatric Unit at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Feeding Empty Little Tummies, is set for 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, with kids races, a 5K and a 1-mile walk beginning at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, 8830 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.