Over 450 participants turned out for the Almanor Recreation and Park District’s 42nd annual Chester 4th of July Fun Run on Tuesday, July 4, 2023. Runners and walkers from infants to octogenarians gathered on the Collins Pine lawn and proceeded one mile down Chester’s historic Main Street to the finish at the Bidwell House.
While this year's Fun Run was not an individually-timed event, Tyler Eakin, a student at the University of Washington and last year’s winner, finished first again with 5:18 showing on the finish line clock. Within 20 minutes, most of the participants had crossed the finish line and gathered to enjoy refreshments and celebrate a great start to Independence Day.
Many people wore their gray 2023 Fun Run T-shirts which featured artwork designed by Matthew Labota, a Chester 6th grader whose drawing was selected from more than 40 entries submitted by students from Chester Elementary and Middle Schools. Matthew’s winning entry featured a colorful rendering of Lake Almanor filled with stars and stripes to commemorate the 4th of July.
Other participants donned costumes such as the six bananas who were being chased by a gorilla, while others sported stars, stripes and 4th of July colors. Multi-generational families ran and walked together, some pushing strollers or carrying infants in backpacks. Of course, many canine companions also took part in the mile-long event.
The Fun Run was supported by 19 local sponsors and 20 dedicated volunteers who helped make the event possible. This year’s platinum event sponsors include Chase International Lake Almanor Brokers, Chester Car Wash, Collins Companies, Howard Construction, Knotty Pine Resort, Plumas Bank, Slusher Plumbing, Seneca Healthcare District and Timber House. Gold sponsors were Ayoob’s Intermountain Hardware, Buffalo Chips Pizza, Holiday Market and Lake Almanor Ace Hardware. Coldwell Banker Kehr-O'Brien Real Estate was a silver sponsor, along with bronze sponsors Berkshire Hathaway Lake Almanor Real Estate, Bidwell House B&B, Bodfish Bicycles, Dig It Construction and Turner Excavating.
The 4th of July Fun Run is ARPD's largest fundraising event and all proceeds benefit District programs and events, as well as capital improvement projects, with an emphasis on recreation, parks and trails. Thanks to all participants, sponsors and volunteers who helped make this year's event our biggest fundraiser to date!
All photos courtesy of Susie Powell.