The Run for the Ribbon may be the most poorly named event ever.
There is no ribbon. And most of the participants walk instead of running.
But when organizers were looking for a name for the annual event in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania back in 1991, Run for the Ribbon stuck. And they've been stuck with it ever since.
Billed as an afternoon of family fun, the event does meet its objective. Sponsored by a volunteer group called 'High on Kids', the Run for the Ribbon brings families together for a walk through the streets of this small southcentral Pennsylvanian town each October. It is also touted as a day of drug and alcohol-free fun. And since nobody has ever arrived at the event visibily intoxicated, we suppose they're meeting their second goal as well.
The Run for the Ribbon begins and ends at the local middle school. The route through town is marked by volunteers with arrows and balloons. Local police lead the way in a patrol car and block intersections as the walkers cross some of the town's busier streets.
It sounds pretty dull right?
Would you believe that close to 1000 people participate every year? Each public school in the local school district tries to bring out the largest percentage of their total student population - and parents, grandparents and sibilings count toward the total. The winner receives a traveling trophy and bragging rights for the year.
It also serves to bring the community together - if only for an afternoon. And the students really have a thrill seeing their teachers and principals outside the classroom setting.
All participants receive a free t-shirt. And there's free hot dogs and sodas for everyone as well.
In addition, there's something of a carnival air at the middle school where everyone congregates before and after the 'Run'. School organizations like the band boosters and the art honor society hold bake sales and face painting booths to raise money for charity.
So despite its rather poorly chosen name, the Run for the Ribbon is a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon in October if you're hanging around the Hummelstown area with nothing better to do.
Just don't be disappointed if you don't see a ribbon at the finish line.