Saturday, May 17, 2008

Historic Half Marathon Weekend

There were a ridiculous number of events going on in Fredericksburg today, all designed to help entertain the throngs of people that are expected to visit Fredericksburg this weekend for tomorrow’s Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon. There are 6,000 runners registered in the race, and the city was anticipating 20,000 weekend visitors. We went to as many events as we could today, and if there were 20,000 extra people in town, they weren’t in evidence at today’s events. Doesn’t matter to me—I enjoyed them anyway.

We started this morning at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo at the Expo Center in Central Park. I was expecting booths devoted to health and wellness, nutrition, exercise, medical screenings, and that sort of thing. Instead, it was mainly booths hawking gear to runners: athletic wear, energy drinks, sports sunglasses. “Healthy lifestyle” was definitely a misnomer. This was the most intriguing part of the visit: seeing all of the porta-potties lined up, ready for the start of the race tomorrow...

Then we headed downtown, where we checked out the concert in Market Square Fair, and enjoyed the music of Tea Not War...

Then on to the beer and wine tasting at Kybecca, where between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, we managed to try all four paninis that they were previewing in advance of next week's opening of the wine bar (my favorite: pulled duck). From there, we walked down to the Art Festival at Hurkamp Park. We checked out the sidewalk sale along Caroline St., and at 3 pm, we headed over to the UMW campus to listen to music by “Midnight Spaghetti and the Chocolate G-Strings” (worst band name ever?), a retro funk band that was a lot of fun...

I even managed to win a T-shirt from WGRQ (you can never have enough T-shirts with ugly, oversized logos).

We managed to take a quick swing by the “Rock the Block Party,” which seemed to be shaping up as pretty much the usual First/Finally Friday gathering, and since we aren't big fans of Bud and beach music, we passed.

Tomorrow we're going to try to go downtown early enough to cheer on some of the runners. Okay, we'll probably only manage to get there in time for the slowest in the pack, but hey, who needs cheering more than the runners bringing up the rear?

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