LEWISBURG — Ready. Set. Freeze.
The 2020 Lewisburg Sunset Rotary Frosty 5K on Saturday brought out at least 200 participants to Downtown Lewisburg to kick off the second day of the Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival. This year Sunset Rotary is donating to Bucknell’s B.A.C.E.S. program, sending students to the Dominican Republic to carry out humanitarian work.
"It's one of the anchor events of the Lewisburg Ice Fest, we have so many people from out of the area come in just to enjoy it and we have great donors for the event that are consistent every year," said Rick Wible, past president of the Sunset Rotary and Frosty 5K event chair. "It's a very nice family-friendly event with runners, walkers, dogs, kids and strollers, everybody included in this event."
Over the years the club has bought computers and a bus for the Donald Heiter Community Center, benches along Bull Run creek, donations to Transitions, a bullet-proof vest for the Union County K9 dog and other investments.
The event started at 9:30 a.m. on Market Street in front of the Campus Theatre. The course took runners around the historic streets of Lewisburg and along the edges of Bucknell University’s campus. Volunteers were stationed on every corner of the course to guide runners and walkers and keep an eye out for traffic.
Lewisburg Mayor Judy Wagner launched the runners on Saturday.
"This Rotary group amazes me, they really are an amazing group of people," said Wagner. "They give so much back to the community. They're always around doing things."
Eric Rowe, of Selinsgrove, participated in the event for the first time. It was his second 5K event.
"I retired, started walking and then walking led to running," said Rowe. "I thought if I'm going to run I might as well do it for fun and competition. It also helps out a lot of charities and non-profits."
James Shields, a Bucknell professor of Asian culture/history at Bucknell University, wasn't running, but his 11-year-old daughter Annika and his 9-year-old son Hugh were participating.
"It's great," he said. "It's convenient because we live next to the finish line. The kids did very well last year. They both like running, ever since they were really small."
Annika said her strategy is to pace herself.
"I try not to stop," she said.
Her brother said, "I try not to let anyone in front of me."
Wible noted the donations of area businesses, including Jersey Mike’s Subs, Domino’s Pizza, Elite Feet of Montoursville, Starbucks Coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts, Pardoes Perky Peanuts and Weis Markets, Frosty 5K’s main sponsor for the past three years.
Other events on Saturday's schedule included a Polar Bear Plunge into the Susquehanna River, a Hidden Lewisburg Walking Tour, a chocolate tour, among others. There were also 36 ice sculptures on display in the downtown and Hufnagle Park, one of which is a wishing well, sponsored by Weis Markets. All change exchanged for wishes during the festival will be donated to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, according to Ellen Ruby, LDP executive director.