Anyone who was in Bartholomew County last weekend didn’t lack for entertainment options, especially with the Mill Race Marathon and Hope Heritage Days on the schedule.
Hope Heritage Days is a longstanding celebration of the town’s heritage and this year’s festival was the 49th edition. The marathon is still relatively new and was conducted for the fourth time in Columbus. But what the events have in common, and showed again this year, is that they are fun experiences for thousands of people and showcase the communities well.
Hope Heritage Days again demonstrated why it is one of the main county festivals to circle on a calendar, and how the efforts or organizers and volunteers pay off well. The three-day celebration, planned by Heritage of Hope, featured a bonanza of family-friendly entertainment and activities, delicious food, many vendors and their wares for sale and community pride.
The weather was perfect and the festival-ending parade capped a weekend that has people looking forward to the 50th Hope Heritage Days next year.
Mill Race Marathon organizers also deserve a pat on the back. The four weekend race events — Kids Fun Run on Friday, and the marathon, half-marathon and 5K races Saturday — drew the most registrants (5,246) since the 2013 inaugural race (5,596). Registration hit record levels in the Kids Fun Run (1,286) and the 5K (1,757). Race organizers credited greater and earlier marketing efforts for the solid participation.
Equally important, the main race day went off without a hitch for the second straight year — no trains interrupting runners or runners being led off course.
And between volunteer opportunities to help runners, neighborhood parties and the post-race entertainment, residents and visitors had plenty of options for enjoyment.
Bartholomew County is fortunate to have two outstanding events such as Hope Heritage Days and the Mill Race Marathon on its schedule for residents and visitors to enjoy. They both add to the area’s quality of life.