Last year, my oldest daughter and I started a new tradition at the inaugural Salem Stars and Stripes 4th of July Run at the capitol city’s Riverfront Park. The event happens in conjunction with the revamped Cherryfest NW, a 4-day celebration of brews, food, music, rides, and a cornhole tournament!
The 5k course starts in Riverfront Park, crosses over the Union Street Bridge into Wallace Marine Park and returns to the finish in short order. If you are looking for some more exploration, the 10k adds a section in the amazing Minto Brown Park. Looking for something even a little more unique – take on the Stars & Stripes Challenge, a 5k with 3 Military style challenges manned by the Oregon National Guard. Here’s some more info on our experience last year:
Me and my 8-year-old opted for the standard version and we enjoyed the course. I will admit that I run portions of this course almost every single work day, but it was all new to my daughter. We started by running through Riverfront Park and made our way over the Union Street Pedestrian Bridge into West Salem. We circled through Wallace Marine Park on some paved trails and non-car roads before connecting back to the bridge and heading back downtown. The final stretch was met with park walkers and event staff cheering all the runners on!
On top of the run, we got some super nice medals, awesome race shirts (super funky and cool!), as well as our bibs being tickets to Cherryfest NW (which were good for any day Wednesday-Sunday, not just DOR). Before we left, we picked up some refueling snacks and I scored a free beer or cider within the event. We headed back later in the weekend to check out the diverse live entertainment lineup and watch some talented individuals compete in the cornhole tournament.
If you want to start a new running tradition on Independence Day, check out this race and experience the whole weekend!
When: 830a on July 4, 2019
Where: Riverfront Park
Register: Online here; $30 for 5k; $35 for 10k