After three long years, the Kiwanis-Herald Sesame Place Classic is coming back and so is the always popular free, one-day admission ticket to Sesame Place that every participant receives when they register.
Tens of thousands of happy runners have enjoyed the famous theme park in Middletown Township/Langhorne since the race’s inception in 1999.
The 22nd running of the KHSPC is scheduled for Sunday, May 15 starting at 7 a.m.
On the schedule are a 5K race, a one-mile fun run/walk and a 50-yard kids’ Sesame Sprint.
Proceeds from the race go to the Dick Dougherty Honorarium Awards program to assist Bucks County high school college-bound seniors.
Over the history of the event, more than $400,000 has been raised for this worthy cause.
The free pass to Sesame has become a tradition. Many people go to the park on race day.
The one-day free admission is good through Sunday, June 19, 2022.
And this year, when it appears health and safety restrictions from the pandemic have been downgraded a bit, there should be some extra energy surrounding any visit to Sesame.
Sesame Place spokesperson PJ Schweizer expressed excitement about the return of hundreds of runners to the park via the free admission ticket.
An official statement from the park read: “Sesame Place is thrilled to once again be partnering with the Kiwanis Club and the Bucks County Herald on this fantastic community tradition. We look forward to welcoming all of the runners and their families to this year’s race and to the park after its conclusion.”
The Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis Club enjoys all aspects of the Sesame Place Classic and seeing so many runners take advantage of this unique offer sits right at the top of the list.
“I am ecstatic the Kiwanis-Herald Sesame Place Classic will be up and running again. For many years my grand nephews enjoyed Sesame Place’s generous offer of a free one-day park admission for everyone who participated in the race,’’ said longtime Kiwanis Club member Dixie Rhodes. “It was always a highlight of their summer. Competing in a race and then off to enjoy hanging with the Sesame characters and the water slides. Now, the tradition continues. The children are looking forward for the opportunity to enjoy their day at the park.’’
Prior to a previous Classic, registration director Jill Gilardi explained why so many people look forward to the free ticket plan.
“One of the best parts of the Classic, compared to other races, is that it is truly the most family-friendly event in which most runners have participated,’’ said Gilardi. “We see families year after year – their children grow a bit; maybe their favorite Sesame character changes, but the race is the same. Their memories of doing the race with their family or school group last forever.’’
Race co-director Ernie Nocito has seen the race and the day at Sesame become an event which attracts people of all ages and from far and wide.
“The Classic continues to grow, drawing seasoned veteran, beginner and new runners each year,’’ Nocito said. “It is a great event bringing so many from the community and, even further away, together for such a positive fun day. One of the bonus highlights for everybody, young and old, is when the Sesame characters visit and mingle with the crowd. I must say this even brings out the kid in me.’’
Registration is open now at www.sesameplaceclassic5k.com.
In addition to the free, one-day admission, there are plenty of other race day activities, including visits inside the Middletown Township-Langhorne Fire Department fire truck.
“The Classic is one of my favorite races,’’ Rhodes said. “It’s a combination of serious competition intertwined with a wholesome family outing. There is room for all levels (5K, 1-mile, kids’ race) of competitors. Participants get to hang out with a Sesame character or two, peruse the fire truck or just hang out with family and friends.’’
It promises to be a special day.
“Sesame is great for everybody, from toddlers to adults,’’ Gilardi said. “There are rides and characters for everyone.’’
Newtown Shamrock Shuffle 5K, 9 a.m., Newtown. Contact www.newtownshamrockshuffle.com
Looney Leprechaun 10K/20K Trail Races, 12 p.m., Richboro. Contact www.runsignup.com
Shake Your Shamrock 5K, 11 a.m., Lahaska. Contact www.runsignup.com