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Better trails, one shoe at a time

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The Columbus Park Foundation wants to help expand portions of the People Trail on State Street — one shoe at a time.

The foundation is offering a Sneaker Creative Studio event, inviting participants to bring in a pair of ’70s-style “boogie shoes” to Indiana University Center for Art + Design–Columbus and try their hand at creating fashionable kicks.

The event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday is free. Those who plan to enter the annual Sneakers At Starlight competition may try out ideas and different decorations in preparation for shoe judging.

“It’s just kind of a kickoff to the Sept. 12 event and just a way to build momentum,” said April Williams, project and resource developer at the Columbus Park Foundation. “We want this to be a fun contest.”

The theme of the September event is “Take A Hike! ... To Expand Our Trails.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward expanding the People Trail on the north side of State Street from Marr Road to Lindsey Avenue.

This is the first time the Columbus Park Foundation has sponsored an event for decorating shoes leading up to the Sneakers At Starlight event, said Cindy Brummet, office manager for the Columbus Park Foundation.

Williams said the foundation will have art supplies, decorations and tools available at IUCA+D, but the public should bring their own decorative “bling” to decorate their shoes.

A committee will judge the sneaker creations, and those with the best designs will have their shoes displayed in the windows of vendors who are sponsoring the event. Those vendors will have signs with QR codes for the public to scan and vote for their favorite shoes.

The designer of the sneakers with the most votes will receive free tickets to the Sneakers At Starlight event at Mill Race Round Lake.

The winner will be announced Sept. 5 on the Columbus Park Foundation and Parks and Recreation website and the park foundation’s and park department’s Facebook pages, Williams said.

Participants are encouraged to wear their “groovy” new shoes to the Sneakers event where live music, local cuisine, and beer- and wine-tasting will be available as part of the ticket price.

Tickets are $75 for couples and $40 for individuals through Friday, with prices increasing to $85 for couples and $50 for individuals after that.

450 North Brewing Co. and Simmons Winery will sell drinks and offer free tasting samples. Joe Willy’s Burger Bar will have a cash bar available.

There will be signs posted around the Mill Race Round Lake with QR codes that will reveal the history and fun facts about State Street to tie in with the event’s theme, Williams said.

She said ticket sales, drink sales at the event’s open bar and the cost of song requests for the performance by the Howl At The Moon Dueling Piano ensemble will all go toward the State Street People Trail expansion.

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