The third annual Woodstock Public Safety Foundation Spring Festival is Saturday in the Park at City Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Woodstock Police spokeswoman Brittany Duncan said there will be something for everyone to enjoy, with organizers expecting a huge turnout.
“This festival will feature live music, K-9 demonstrations and various activities for children, including bounce houses and games,” Duncan said. “There will also be demonstrations by the Woodstock Police Department and the Woodstock Fire Department with public safety equipment on hand, as well as various food and merchandise vendors.”
Before the festivities begin in the park, the celebration will kick off at 7:30 a.m. with the Hustle For Heroes 5-K and Kids’ Fun Run at 8:30 a.m., at the First Baptist Church of Woodstock.
A coordinator of the race, Woodstock Public Safety Foundation board member Tori Hand, said organizers are looking forward to a fun and exciting event.
“We are excited about the response we’ve seen thus far. What makes this race so great is that the route is entirely on the church campus, so participants do not have to worry about running near traffic,” Hand said.
Hand said last year — the inaugural year of the Hustle For Heroes 5K— there were 170 runners.
“This year, we hope to stay at, or increase, that number of participants. We hope that individuals are attracted to the opportunity to run alongside local SWAT Teams,” Hand said. “It is safe to say we are on track to either meet or surpass last year’s number of runners, but are looking for more individuals to sign up.”
Participants in the Hustle For Heroes 5K get to run side-by-side with public safety officials in different organizations, from SWAT Team members, to police, fire and EMTs, Duncan said.
“(Hustle For Heroes) has quickly been deemed ‘the only place in Georgia to legally attempt to outrun the cops,’” Duncan said.
The Hustle For Heroes 5K and Kids’ Fun Run will take place at the First Baptist Church of Woodstock, at 11905 Highway 92, and race-day registration will start at 7 a.m. Online registration is available by visiting Active.com and searching the keywords “Hustle For Heroes.”
The cost to participate in the 5K is $30, or $15 for police, fire, EMT or military members, and the Kids’ Fun Run is $15.
Following the race, an inaugural Motorcycle Poker Run will take place at 11 a.m., beginning in the Wal-Mart parking lot at 12182 Highway 92.
Scott O’Meara, president of the Woodstock Public Safety Foundation, said he expects the motorcycle event to be well attended.
“We are anticipating that we’ll have between 40 to 50 bikes turn out for this event,” O’Meara said.
The event will take participants to five locations, where they will receive playing cards. At the conclusion of the ride, whoever has the best poker hand will win a ride in the pace car at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Registration for the ride begins at 10 a.m. and costs $25 per rider. The ride will end at 1:30 in the Park at City Center, at 101 Arnold Mill Road, where participants can enjoy the Spring Festival.
The third-annual Spring Festival will feature a wide range of activities for all ages, from children’s games and bounce houses to live music and vendors.
“With the beautiful weather forecasted for this Saturday, we do anticipate a large crowd, as we have a variety of events and activities offered,” O’Meara said. “All of the funds raised will benefit the Woodstock Public Safety Foundation, a not-for-profit organization.”
O’Meara said “anyone interested in enjoying the day with family, friends and fun, all benefiting a good cause,” will have a great time at the festival.
A Georgia Law Enforcement Moving Memorial will be on display at the event, in remembrance of public safety officials who served various communities across the state and lost their lives.
“The moving memorial honors the 678 Georgia law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty,” Duncan said.
The foundation events coincide with National Police Week, in recognition of those who lost their lives protecting others.
The Woodstock Public Safety Foundation will also hold a raffle with many prizes throughout the event Saturday, and at each of the city’s Summer Concert Series events.
“The grand prize is a roundtrip airfare for four from Atlanta to any destination within the continental U.S. plus $1,500 in spending cash,” Duncan explained. “The grand prize drawing will take place during the last concert of the series which will be held on Sept. 13.”
Other prizes include a two-night stay at a beachfront hotel in Panama City, Fl., Tennessee Aquarium tickets, Georgia Aquarium tickets, a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone, a round of golf for four at Bent Tree, multiple gift cards and more.
Tickets for the raffle are on sale through Sept. 13, by calling (770) 592-6012, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All proceeds from the Hustle For Heroes, Kids’ Fun Run, Motorcycle Poker Run and the Spring Festival will benefit the Woodstock Public Safety Foundation and its charitable programs, Duncan added.
For more information on the weekend celebration, or to register for any of the events, visit www.wpsfoundation.org.