Feature Articles

12th Annual Turkey Trot 5K Road Race and Family Fun Run/Walk

The place to be on Thanksgiving morning is the 12th annual Turkey Trot in Johnson City. The 5K Road Race and Family Fun Run/Walk is set Thursday, Nov. 23. As always, the Turkey Trot will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Legion Street in Johnson City, near Memorial Park Community Center. An awards ceremony for the overall winners will be held at Cardinal Park immediately following the race.

“This is a tradition for our community,” said Race Chairwoman Jenny Brock. “The Turkey Trot kicks off the holiday season in the best way – with friends, family and a healthy run or walk before the feast.”

The Turkey Trot welcomes competitive runners, casual runners, walkers, kids, strollers, wheelchairs, handcycles, and dogs. It’s an all-inclusive good time for participants of all ages and abilities.

Children have a strong presence at the Turkey Trot, and area schools are awarded cash prizes based on participation. Students are also encouraged to participate in a coloring and essay contest. Like last year, the winners will be named grand marshals of the Turkey Trot.

“The coloring and essay contests have become one of our favorite parts of the Turkey Trot because the imaginations of our area children are amazing,” said Race Director Karen Hubbs. “This year, we are asking kids to write a story about some adventures that Trotter the Turkey and his friends encounter on their way to the Turkey Trot. We can’t wait to read the entries.”

Submission forms have been distributed to area elementary schools and can also be downloaded at www.jcturkeytrot.com. Deadline for entries is Nov. 10.

Charitable Giving
In the past 10 years, the Turkey Trot has awarded approximately $150,000 to organizations that promote health and wellness in our area. From last year’s event, a total of $28,000 was given to Niswonger Children’s Hospital for the Morning Mile program, the ETSU Center of Excellence for Sport Science and Coach Education, and Johnson City Senior Services.

“We take a lot of pride in putting proceeds toward other endeavors that support overall wellness of citizens of all ages,” Brock said.

The Turkey Trot also awards a total of $3,500 to the top three schools with the most participants in two divisions.

Sponsors To Date
Gold Sponsors:
The Wellness Center

Silver Sponsors:
City of Johnson City, Johnson City Medical Center, ABC Tri-Cities/NewsChannel 11, WXBQ/Bristol Broadcasting, Olson’s Martial Arts Academy

Bronze Sponsors:
Appalachian Animal Hospital, Chick-fil-A West Market Street, Food City, Johnson City Cardinals/Boyd Sports, Just Store It, Katz Americas, Johnson City Press, Pepsi, Summit Leadership Foundation, Tri-Cities Turtles, Dr. Carlson & Associates, One Stop Wine & Spirits, McDonald’s, The Seeley Law Firm, Quantum Leap, Freddy’s Frozen Custard, Re/Max Checkmate, Wallabies, Mayfield Dairy, Allison Billboards, Krispy Kreme, Dempsey’s Jewelers, Zak’s Fine Furniture

Registration Information
Registration for the Turkey Trot is now under way at www.jcturkeytrot.com. Early registrants (by Nov. 19) are guaranteed the best price and one of the always-popular long-sleeved Turkey Trot T-shirts. Online registrations will close at midnight Nov. 19. Early registration by midnight Nov. 19 is $25 for adults; $20 for students (18 and younger). Late registration (Nov. 21-22) is $30 for adults; $25 for students. A special discount will be available for families of five or more (living in the same household) that register by Nov. 19. There will be no registrations the day of the event.

Packet pick-up and late registrations will be at Memorial Park Community Center from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 21 and 22.

A wheelchair division will be offered again this year, and strollers are allowed. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed to start at the back of the pack, and owners are asked to please pick up after their pets.

For more information about the 5K USATF-certified course, trophy categories, school awards and prizes, parking areas, and road closures please visit www.jcturkeytrot.com. and like the Johnson City Turkey Trot 5K on Facebook.

Event management for the Turkey Trot is provided by The Goose Chase. For more information, please contact Karen Hubbs, Race Director at (423) 946-3784 or Jenny Brock, Race Chair at (423) 791-1262.

"A Storybook Christmas" - Downtown Activities and Christmas Parade


• 7pm at the Plaza on Buffalo Street - Join us for the lighting of the Downtown Johnson City Christmas tree on Friday, December 1st at 7 pm in the Buffalo Street Plaza. The event is for all ages and will feature music and plenty of holiday cheer.

December 2nd - JOHNSON CITY CHRISTMAS PARADE - "A Storybook Christmas"

• Parade begins at 11:30am - Beginning at W. Walnut Street, the parade route will continue through Buffalo Street, turn right on Main Street to Colonial Way, then turn left on to State of Franklin Road (click here for map & information). Bring your family and friends and enjoy the event.


• 12:30pm-2:20pm in the Pavillion at Founders Park - Following the parade, community organizations will provide activities for kids including pictures with the Grinch and more. The event is free, kid-friendly and open to the public. Food trucks will be onsite selling hot chocolate, food, desserts, etc. There will also be plenty of holiday activities for kids: craft stations, photo opportunities with Whoville Village characters, dance area with a DJ and various other activity stations available.

After the festivities, enjoy shopping and eating throughout downtown's many local retail shops and restaurants to complete your Christmas shopping needs. This year's events and activities are slated to be some of the best Christmas cheer in the region. For questions on any of these events, please visit Downtown Johnson City website here.

Annual Fall Leaf Collection

The City’s annual fall leaf collection will take place from Monday, October 30th through Wednesday, December 20th. Several trucks will be used throughout the City and a minimum of three pick-ups should occur within each neighborhood during the leaf collection period. Residents are asked not to bag leaves and to have leaves piled behind the curb (not in front of the curb or on the street) no later than 7 a.m. on April 4th to ensure pickup. Leaves will not be collected in alleys. All leaf piles should be free of trash, debris and limbs or they will not be collected.

As a service to our citizens, the City will deliver leaves at no charge upon request. Leaves are delivered in full truckloads only – approximately 18 cubic yards or roughly 3 tons – and can be requested by calling 975-2700. As a reminder, brush collection takes place year-round but may be altered due to leaf collection. The City defines brush as: tree trimmings, shrubbery (with no roots), limbs, etc., generated by routine maintenance of a property by the homeowner. Here are some collection guidelines to help homeowners as they clear brush and prepare for fall yard work.

• Brush piles must not exceed 10-foot lengths, must be piled straight and placed behind or on the curb for collection. Do not place brush on center medians or islands.
• Do not place brush next to objects such as fences, guy wires, and poles or under trees. Equipment is restricted in those areas.
• Brush may not be mixed with other debris. Brush mixed with leaves, grass, lumber, dirt, rock, concrete, building materials or other debris will not be collected until properly separated.

NOTE* - Anyone hired to trim or remove trees, shrubs, etc., is required to remove the resulting brush from the property. Failure to do so may result in a court citation. For information, please contact Public Work - Street Division at (423) 975-2700.

Johnson City Parks and Recreation wins top awards

The Johnson City Parks and Recreation Department last week was recognized with four, Four Star Awards for Excellence in Parks and Recreation by the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association at its 66th annual conference in Franklin, Tenn.

The Rotary Park Playground and Splash Pad took top honors for New Facility, while Teen Adventure Quest Summer Camp and Turtle Trek Challenge won top honors for Programs. Vice Mayor Jenny Brock was also recognized by the association with a Four Star Individual Service Award.

“I’m very, very proud of the quality of our entries, the facilities and programs we have, the quality of our staff and the support from elected officials that have helped make these awards a reality,” said Parks and Recreation Director James Ellis. Ellis said the awards are a testament to the department’s quality offerings for citizens and visitors. “We received four, Four Star Awards, which is the TRPA’s top award,” Ellis said. “We offer programs now that are open to all walks of life.”

After major construction, Rotary Park reopened on April 4 with a new inclusive playground and splash pad. The result was a rush of popularity and visitor totals pushing the 300 mark on nearly every summer day at 1001 N. Broadway St. The facility was recognized as the best in Tennessee built within the past year at a cost between $250,000 and $1 million. The playground, splash pad, new sidewalks, walkways, fencing and parking lot were paid for through a $250,000 Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation grant, a $250,000 match from the City, and a roughly $250,000 donation from the Johnson City Rotary Club.

Accessible to children and adults of all physical abilities, the playground was built with wheelchairs in mind, incorporating wide ramps, artificial turf and other special features to make sure its swings, slides, climbing equipment and splash pad water features can be enjoyed by all.

Teen Adventure Quest Summer Camp bested the Conservation/Outdoor Recreation program entries, while Turtle Trek Challenge topped the Health and Wellness program category. Teen Adventure Quest was recognized as an outstanding program with a focus on fitness and nutrition education. The five-day outdoor adventure, which included camps, shelter building, hikes, swimming, rafting and “salamander sleuthing,” was the brainchild of Nature Program Coordinator Connie Deegan.

Deegan offers a six-part series of one-week programs designed for 7-12 year olds. This year, she added a new twist and bumped the age group to 13-17 – a population traditionally difficult to engage in outdoor and wildlife activities. Program goals included reducing the gap between teenage interest in nature and their actual involvement in it, offering more affordable access to outdoor attractions, and nurturing repeated engagement with participants and their families. “I basically wanted to offer teens who don’t have a lot of other choices an opportunity to get outside,” she said. “We went on field trips every day, and each day was different. By the second day, a lot of new friendships were made.”

The Turtle Trek Challenge was the idea of Senior Services Office Manager Donna Campbell. It was created within the Senior Services Turtle Challenge Series to reach participants not currently engaged in a traditional exercise program. Turtle Trek began April 1st, and participants were challenged to complete the equivalent of a marathon (26.2 miles) by May 31 while submitting their mileage weekly.

Senior Services staff set up stations at different city parks at designated times throughout the challenge to offer encouragement, distribute giveaways like water bottles, or engage in a fun challenge to win a prize. An amazing 139 people with varying abilities accepted the challenge, and ages ranged from 3 to 81 years old. A total of 117 people completed the challenge. They were recognized at a cookout and received a Turtle Trek T-shirt. “The idea was to encourage participants to be more physically active and allow them an opportunity to compete at their own pace and not feel intimidated or unqualified to participate because of limited abilities,” Campbell said.

Brock received the individual award based on her contributions to and support of the Parks and Recreation Department. To be eligible, nominees had to be either a city commissioner, council member or serve on a park board. A longtime proponent of community health and wellness initiatives, Brock is a founding member of Up & At ‘Em, which started the City’s Fit to Play camps and the annual Turkey Trot. Her nomination was supported by documented local legislation, newspaper articles and other awards and accomplishments.

For more information on Johnson City Parks and Recreation, visit www.johnsoncitytn.org/parksrec or call 423-434-5815.


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