San Diego’s Iconic Thanksgiving 5K Adjusts to a Virtual Approach

| November 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

Father Joe’s Villages annual turkey trot flexes its approach amid pandemic to raise much-needed funds for programs that feed people in need. Participants will have the opportunity to “5K Your Way” by completing their route of choice between Thursday, November 26 to Tuesday, December 1. Homemade pies baked by the organization’s culinary training program are available for pickup in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Each Thanksgiving, San Diego residents run or walk through Balboa Park in themed costumes during Father Joe’s Villages’ Thanksgiving Day 5K to support nutritious meals for neighbors in need. This year, the Thanksgiving Day tradition will adhere to COVID-19 protocols, allowing participants to show their support by running or walking the distance and route of their choice during the week of Thanksgiving.Registration is available by visiting

Families, pets and socially distanced friend groups will have from November 26 to December 1 to complete their 5K, whether that entails running, walking, biking or fundraising their way through it. Participants can also set a fundraising goal to make a positive impact in reducing food insecurity in our community. Registration includes an event t-shirt, bib number and finishers medal. Fundraisers who raise at least $100 will receive a pair of limited-edition 5K socks.

A family-friendly, Thanksgiving-themed costume contest will be held from November 26 to 29 through social media. The winning post will receive a prize package as well as four free registrations to next year’s Thanksgiving Day 5k.

“For nearly two decades we’ve upheld a San Diego Thanksgiving tradition that helps us feed thousands of people annually,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “This year is no different. We’re asking our community to continue the turkey trot tradition from wherever they are and support our neighbors facing hunger and homelessness during the holiday season.”

As the number of people facing food insecurity is heightened by the pandemic, the 5k Your Way aims to raise $400,000 toward its critical mission. Father Joe’s Villages relies on the money raised during the event to fund its Food Services program, which provides nutritious meals to thousands of people experiencing homelessness each year.

San Diego residents have made a tradition of participating in the annual Father Joe’s Villages’ Thanksgiving Day 5K.

Category: Events, feature, Holidays, Local News, Nonprofit

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