OC’s Jingle Bell 5K has been modified to virtual run/walk

From staff reports

The Oil City Main Street Program’s annual Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk set for Saturday as part of the city’s annual Christmas Past celebration has been modified from its traditional in-person format to a virtual event.

The race normally features runners and walkers dressed in festive holiday gear making their way through downtown Oil City streets. However, it has been converted this year due to unforeseen circumstances and changing situations, including the coronavirus.

For the virtual race, registered participants may run or walk the 5K (3.1 mile) distance on the date and route of their choosing from Saturday to Dec. 31, record their own time and enter their results on the race site at runsignup.com.

Virtual registration is still open for a $10 fee at the same race site until noon today.

Registered participants who pre-ordered T-shirts before the Nov. 13 deadline may come to Oil City’s Town Square from 9 to 10 a. m. Saturday to pick up their shirt and take a selfie near Santa and the Grinch. Festive holiday attire is still encouraged, but face coverings should be worn.

T-shirts may still be ordered on Saturday morning for $15 each for pickup at a later date.

All proceeds from the 5K benefit the downtown revitalization efforts of the Oil City Main Street Program.

“While we are disappointed to make this announcement, we would like to express heartfelt thanks to our enthusiastic participants, our generous event sponsors and our event partners for their support,” said race director Rebekah Deal and Main Street manager Kathy Bailey. “We will keep our fingers crossed for better times in 2021.”

More information about the Jingle Bell 5K and Oil City’s Christmas Past festival can be found on the Events & News page of the Oil City Main Street website, www.oilcitymainstreet.org or at (814) 677-3152, Ext. 101.

The official kick-off to Oil City’s Christmas Past is the Oil City Rotary’s annual tree lighting event beginning at 5 p.m. today in Town Square.