Red, white and blue tutus and face paint decorated the close to 90 entrants that crossed the finish line at Gardnerville’s second Freedom 5K Fun Run, Walk on Friday.
There were four times the number of participants from last year, Mainstreet Gardnerville board member Stephanie Wagner said.
“It was an amazing, unexpected turn-out,” she said.
Runners and walkers of all ages participated in the race and were each given a certificate upon completion.
Members of the Mainstreet Gardnerville board and American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life team lined both sides of the street by Heritage Park, cheering on the runners and walkers.
Gardnerville town board member Mary Wenner was at Heritage Park bright and early to help direct the runners and walkers of the 5K.
“Hopefully, we are going to have more running and walking paths for people next year.”
Rolling Thunder performed as shoppers browsed the 15 vendors representing Shop Small Nevada. A pancake breakfast was prepared by the Carson Valley Lions Club.
Designated egg cracker and Lion David Hoskins explained the club’s involvement in the still-new event.
“This is a dual purpose event for us. We get to be part of a community, family event and make money that helps fund other projects for the community.”
Event patrons were able to purchase breakfasts complete with pancakes, eggs and sausage.
Grill master and treasurer of the Lions Club Ron Santi said, “We’re really pleased. There’s a great turn out.”
The Lions provide funding for many community projects and this fundraiser is no different for them in their purpose.
“Giving back to the community is what Lions is all about and every dollar we make goes right back into the community,” previous Lions president Jeff Stephenson said.
Shop Small Nevada also has the community in mind when participating in events like Gardnerville’s.
“This is a perfect event to bring vendors out and keep money local and help the local economy,” said Jennifer Cantley, founder and CEO of Shop Small Nevada.
Fifteen various members of Shop Small Nevada were available with their products and information.
Nicole Frangione of Automatic Body by Nutrié who is trying to get her business started in the area was glad to be a part of the event.
“We’re glad to be a part of an event like the walk, run,” Frangione said.
Her product is a protein shake that can help those that have trouble maintaining weight, build muscle, increase energy and metabolism and burn fat.
“It’s a great product, and we’re excited to share it with the region,” Frangione said.
Mainstreet Gardnerville joined the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for the first time this year on the 5K as well as a kidZone.
The kidZone included face painting, coloring sheets, a lollipop pull, duck pull and a fish bowl toss.
Lizzy Jordan, youth chairwoman for Relay for Life, was happy with the number of kids who visited.
“The face painting is definietly their favorite,” Jordan said.
Youth co-chairwoman, Katie Bushey painted a flag on Gardnerville resident Cammie Jahreis’ face.
“The event is good to get the kids out and having fun, and getting them involved in things young,” she said.
Cammie was at the event with her dad and brother.
“Its an easy, family friendly event,” Peter Jehreis said. “We rode our bikes over.”
The Jehreis were enjoying Gardnerville’s event for the second year in a row.
Gardnerville’s Fourth of July event is in its second year of existence, but has increased in popularity.
“We tried to make it, so it wouldn’t be too hot for the runners or interfere with any of the other area events,” Senior Office Manager Carol Louthan said.
Plans are already in the works for next year’s event.