Festival Foods Turkey Trot a Festive Start to Thanksgiving

group participation during turkey trot

What better way to get ready for a big Thanksgiving meal than by walking it off beforehand?

The Festival Foods Turkey Trot is a festive morning event for all ages and abilities that offers a 2-mile walk, fun run, and Dog Jog, or a timed 5-mile run on Thanksgiving morning. All participants will get a collectible long-sleeve shirt, single serve Cameron’s coffee, and – best of all – a 5” upper crust pumpkin pie. While dogs don’t get a pie, they do get a Turkey Trot bandana to show off.

“One of the best parts of the event, in my opinion, is just introducing people new to the event to all the awesome things that go along with the Turkey Trot,” said Assistant Store Director Matthew Colby, who wears many hats when it comes to the event.

Last year, the Turkey Trot attracted 31,658 people in all ten communities, with 1,403 of those in Marshfield. Proceeds benefit the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club in the communities Festival Foods serves with $2,245,000 raised since the event’s inception. The Marshfield YMCA does much of the planning and organizing of volunteers.

“Those individuals volunteering for the first time see how much hard work goes into prepping for race day that they really appreciate the event that much more,” he said. “They also get to see the community event-minded side of Festival that encourages its associates to go into the community and make a difference.”

Colby also loves questions from participants who ask what the new shirt color will be and give feedback, as well as the social aspect of the event itself. “It draws people out early in the morning, some with dogs, some wearing tutus, and some wearing turkeys on their heads,” he said. “Everyone is there to have a great time and raise money for our local YMCA.”

As “Pie Tent Captain,” Colby and his team of volunteers set up a tent on the morning of the race and unload all of the pumpkin pies. After the race, donated pies are transported to St. Vincent’s food pantry.

“The donated pies are then handed out when we hand out our holiday food baskets to those in need in the community,” said Deb Steltenpohl, Director of Outreach Services. “If there are any pies that Turkey Trot participants don’t ‘claim,’ those pies are also donated to our food pantry.”

The Turkey Trot begins at 8 a.m. November 22 at Marshfield High School and is $25 for adults and $20 for ages 17 and younger until November 18, when the price increases. Each dog needs to be registered for a small fee of $5. Top five finishers for the timed event are awarded $20 Festival Foods gift cards, with results posted online.

Participants can register at this link. The cost for the either route is $25 for adults or $20 for youth 17 and under. Shirts and bibs can be picked up between 2-6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21 at Marshfield High School and beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. For additional information on event rules, click here. 

Colby encourages everyone to participate. “All ages, shapes, and sizes of Humans and Canine alike can join in the fun,” he said. “If running a 5k isn’t your thing, the 2 mile walk is a perfect way to stretch your legs in the morning.”

Anyone who has questions can call Festival Foods and speak to him at (715) 384-8866. Turkey Trot costumes are available for purchase in the store.