Thanksgiving 5k to Fill Balboa Park with Costumed San Diegans

| November 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

On Thanksgiving morning, more than 6,500 people will participate in Father Joe’s Villages’ Thanksgiving Day 5k, one of San Diego’s longest standing holiday traditions. The event is from 6:30 to 11 a.m., Thursday, November 28 at Spreckles Organ Pavilion & Plaza de Panama (1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101) in Balboa Park.

Families have made the Thanksgiving Day 5K a tradition of giving.

After families and pets in costume make their way through the loop around the iconic Balboa Park, they will cross the finish line to a holiday festival, complete with a pancake breakfast, children’s activities, characters like Santa Claus and cartoon favorites, a beer garden and live music.

“I’ve made our family’s costumes for the Thanksgiving 5k each year since we heard of the tradition,” says Chris Cunningham, participant of Father Joe’s Villages’ Thanksgiving 5k and Poway community member. “When our kids were little, my husband and I made sure we taught them to give back, especially on days of gratitude like this holiday. Now, Father Joe’s Villages’ event plays a huge part in our holiday planning and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Thousands of San Diegans experiencing homelessness go hungry every day and the holidays are no different. The Thanksgiving Day 5k raises money to support Father Joe’s Villages’ Food Services program, which provides more than 1 million meals annually.

Father Joe’s Villages’ Culinary Arts Program will sell homemade pies at the festival as well. This vocational training program prepares individuals experiencing homelessness for careers in the food service industry.

 “The Thanksgiving Day 5k is one of Father Joe’s Villages’ longest-standing traditions. We get to see folks who grew up attending with their parents each Thanksgiving now bring children and families of their own,” says Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “The fact that they continue to show up in support of our programs is a true testament to our community’s dedication to serving their neighbors in need.”

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