Star Spangled Night Run brings the fun to summer

Published 4:00 am Friday, June 9, 2023

Each of the half-dozen running events scattered throughout the year in Vicksburg have their own unique theme. The next one on the calendar, the Star Spangled Night Run, is the Saturday night summer party.

The Night Run will celebrate its sixth anniversary on Saturday, June 17. The 5K run and race walk in downtown Vicksburg are the primary attractions, but an after-party at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center’s auditorium is another big draw.

“It’s a good one. It’s a fun one. I think people look forward to it. It’s just one of those that’s fun. It’s a perfect summertime race,” said race director Stacey Mahoney, who is also the director of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. The Star Spangled Night Run is a fundraiser for the organization.

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The Night Run lives up to its name by sending runners and walkers along a 5-kilometer course at dusk. The race begins at 8 p.m. and the last runners will cross the finish line on Crawford Street after dark.

To help light the way, participants get glow sticks in their race goodie bag. A festive atmosphere also permeates the event, with volunteers on hand to paint faces and plenty of lighthearted outfits.

The Vicksburg Police Department and Warren County Sheriff’s Office will also be on the course to help guide runners and walkers along.

“I always like to stress that we have the cooperation of all of the authorities in town — the police, the Sheriff’s department, medics, fire department, all of that — so it’s a good, safe race,” Mahoney said.

The registration fee for the Star Spangled Night Run is $35 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under. The fee includes entry to the after-party, which will have pizza and beer for runners, as well as a race T-shirt.

There is also a $25 “Spirit Runner” option which includes all of the goodies and admission to the after-party but not entry into the race. The admission fee to the after-party is $10 for those not participating in the race.

Registration will be open online and in person at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center until 5 p.m. on June 16, and in person at the SCHC auditorium at the corner of Cherry and Crawford streets from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on June 17.
Volunteers are also needed. Anyone interested can call the SCHC at 601-631-2997.

Mahoney was pleased with the way the Night Run has grown during its short life so far. Its spot on the calendar, between the two summer holidays of Memorial Day and Independence Day, makes it a good celebration of and kickoff to the summer, she said.

“May is crazy for everybody. First it’s Mother’s Day, then it’s graduations, then it’s dance recitals and all that,” Mahoney said. “Once you get through May and you’re into summer they have more time on their hands. As long as they’re in town, I think people like to participate.”

• Saturday, June 17, 8 p.m.
• 5K run and race walk that begins and ends at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center auditorium
• Entry fee: $35 for adults and $20 for children ages 12 and under. Includes admission to the after-party
•4 Register through or by calling the SCHC at 601-631-2997

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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