Turkey Trot Music Fest 2005


By Bill McGuire

Where: American Legion Hall, Lake Ella
Who’s playing: Jon Copps, Moondance & Cypress Creek
Why: Registration, Fun and Support for Refuge House and the Shelter

If you were to ask most local folks when the annual Turkey Trot takes place, chances are the unanimous answer would be “Thanksgiving Day”. And, true enough, all the various footraces collectively known as the Turkey Trot are scheduled for Thanksgiving morning. However, although it is primarily known as the largest running event in Tallahassee, the TT is actually a smorgasbord of events, and has grown beyond the confines of Southwood and Thanksgiving Day.

The Turkey Trot now kicks off with a big party on the Sunday before Thanksgiving (this year, the date is Nov. 20th), at the American Legion Hall on Lake Ella. It is scheduled to run from 2:00-6:00 p.m. We call it the “Music Fest” in recognition of the fine local musicians who provide the entertainment, and what better way to celebrate the start of the holiday season than with music?

This year, the Music Fest features a topnotch lineup of Tallahassee singers and players: Jon Copps, Moondance, and Cypress Creek. For good reason, these troubadours have long been favorites throughout the Big Bend area, and everyone who shows up at the Legion Hall on Nov. 20th will be treated to a very special Sunday afternoon of hot music and cold refreshments. The Music Fest will serve as the Gulf Winds Track Club’s November social event, but you do NOT need to be a track club member or Turkey Trot participant to attend. Anybody who enjoys a good time and wants to get into the holiday spirit is invited!

The Music Fest is about a lot more than music, however. While the Turkey Trot is proud of the Thanksgiving Day running tradition it has established, it is equally proud of its giving tradition. What better way is there to show thanks for all our own blessings than by giving to those in more difficult or less fortunate circumstances than ourselves? The Shelter and the Refuge House have been the Turkey Trot’s two main beneficiaries over the years, and we are proud to be able to help these worthy causes. But we very much would like to do more, and the Music Fest provides us with that opportunity. We encourage people who attend the Music Fest to donate via check to either of these organizations at the door. Donations of nonperishable food items, clothes, and toiletries are also welcomed.

We sometimes refer to the Music Fest as a “shortcut to the starting line”. As the number of Turkey Trot runners has increased over the past few years, so has the length of the lines for those signing up on Thanksgiving morning. Anyone attending the Music Fest, however, may enter the 5k, 10k,15k, or the one-mile Turkey Gobbler ahead of time, and avoid the race day rush. Not only can people enter on Sunday, but they can also pick up their race packets on the spot. Among other benefits, this means that they will be guaranteed to get a t-shirt before the race. In addition, those signing up at the Music Fest receive the “early registration” discount, which can mean a nice savings, especially for families with several runners.

So, we hope that everyone will mark their calendars for Sunday, Nov. 20th, 2:00-6:00 p.m. – the first big social event of the holiday season! It’s a great opportunity to relax with friends while listening to some great music and sipping a cold drink. It’s a way to show your support for Refuge House and the Shelter during what is an especially difficult time for folks who need their services. And if you’re a runner, it is the “one stop shop” place for the Turkey Trot…race entry, packet and t-shirt pickup…all at a discount. The American Legion Hall is located at 229 Lake Ella Drive, next to the Black Dog Café.

Hope to see you there!