Big race, Rock the Park will band together in Albion
ALBION – Organizers of a day-long music festival and a big running event are teaming up next year to put on their events on the same day, Aug. 20.
Rock the Park and Metro 10 compliment each other, and the events will make for a bigger bash for the community.
“It’s going to make for a bigger draw by partnering up,” said Zack Burgess, one of the organizers of the Rock the Park event at Bullard Park.
The second Rock the Park was July 25 and featured bands playing from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The attendance picked up throughout the day for Rock the Park, but organizers want more people for the late morning, early afternoon performers.
The Metro 10 started at 10 a.m. on Aug. 22 and ended with a post-race party at Bullard from about noon to 1:30 p.m. The race will start at 8 a.m. next year, with the post-race celebration to start in the late morning. That will guarantee a good crowd for Rock the Park during what was a slower time for the bands this past year.
“We’re going to work together to build a bigger event,” said Thom Jennings, the Metro 10 organizer. “The village will only have to set up the park once and we won’t compete for sponsors.”
Metro 10 is shifting to a new umbrella organization, from the Albion Running Club to the Warrior House, a charity that provides hunting opportunities in West Shelby for wounded veterans. Jennings’ nephew Peter Zeliff Jr.is head of the Warrior House.
There were about 400 runners in Albion race last year. Jennings said that was a great start for the debut race. The feedback from runners was overwhelmingly positive, but many wanted an earlier start time to beat the heat of the summer day.
Jennings would like to bring back Up2Somethin’ to perform at a stage in the park. Burgess said many local bands are expected to follow.
“This is going to fill in the gaps,” Burgess said. “I think it will be a cool thing.”
Jennings also sees the race crowd giving a lift to Rock the Park. That event, with its many arts and craft vendors and lineup of entertainment should keep runners in the community after the race.
“As we’re winding down, they are starting to rev up,” Jennings said. “It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.”