American Folk Festival brings in 1,700 runners, more than $35,000 in 5K’s colorful debut

Posted April 27, 2014, at 3:52 p.m.
Sade Giles (left) dumps some dye on fellow runner Susan Sawtelle before the start of the Color Bangor 5k run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way.
Sade Giles (left) dumps some dye on fellow runner Susan Sawtelle before the start of the Color Bangor 5k run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way. Buy Photo
People warm up before the start of the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way.
People warm up before the start of the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way. Buy Photo
 A runner makes his way through one of the color stations during the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way.
A runner makes his way through one of the color stations during the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way. Buy Photo
 A runner makes her way through one of the color stations during the Color Bangor 5k run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way.
A runner makes her way through one of the color stations during the Color Bangor 5k run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way. Buy Photo
Heivi Bubar tosses purple dye into the air to color her teammates before the start of the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. From left are Heather Kirkbride, Nancy Bubar, Calvin Bubar and Bryan Bennett.
Heivi Bubar tosses purple dye into the air to color her teammates before the start of the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. From left are Heather Kirkbride, Nancy Bubar, Calvin Bubar and Bryan Bennett. Buy Photo
Monty Rand was well colored by his friends before the start of the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers  completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with died starch along the way.
Monty Rand was well colored by his friends before the start of the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for the American Folk Festival. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with died starch along the way. Buy Photo
People pose for a photo before the start of the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for American Folk Festival on Saturday. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way.
People pose for a photo before the start of the Color Bangor 5K run to raise money for American Folk Festival on Saturday. About 1700 runners and walkers completed the 5 kilometer race while being pelted with dyed starch along the way. Buy Photo

BANGOR, Maine — The first Color Bangor 5K run was a glowing success, according to organizers.

The run, which left participants drenched in clouds of colorful, cornstarch-based powder, brought nearly 1,700 people to the Bangor Waterfront on Saturday and raised more than $35,000 for the American Folk Festival, spokesman Dan Cashman said Sunday. Organizers had hoped to have just 1,000 people participate.

“We just blew that out of the water,” Cashman said. “We’re really happy with where it it ended up.”

Money raised through the event goes directly toward costs of this summer’s American Folk Festival. Year one was such a success that it’s likely the event will be repeated next year, Cashman said.

“I think the excitement will grow even more next year,” he said.

The American Folk Festival organized Color Bangor as a new revenue source to help fund the three-day waterfront event, which relies heavily donations before the event and optional contributions collected by the Bucket Brigade during the festival.

Donations had dipped in recent years, sometimes due hard financial times for company donors and attendees, and sometimes due to poor weather. In 2011, a severe storm forced the cancellation of an entire day of the festival and put it into debt with the city.

The Folk Festival has seen a steady recovery since those hardships, finishing the past two seasons with small profits.

“Color Bangor was everything we had hoped it would be,” festival Executive Director Heather McCarthy said Sunday. “It was fun, it brought together the community, it was full of energy, and we saw nothing but happy, colorful faces. While we’re already looking forward to doing it again next year, we’re also extremely excited about what we have on tap for this year’s American Folk Festival in August, and we will be announcing more artists for the festival sometime within the next week.”

This year’s festival is scheduled for Aug. 22-24.

 

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