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Bethlehem’s Historic Turkey Trot: A tradition stuffed with fun

November 10th, 2015 |

November 9, 2015 | In The News

Written by Jennifer Sheehan for The Morning Call

It’s a tradition in Bethlehem, a way to usher in the holiday season in the Christmas City.

It’s also an excuse to dress like up a turkey and run through historic Bethlehem.

The 13th Annual Historic Turkey Trot 5K Run & Fitness Walk will kick off 9 a.m. Nov. 28 in the Colonial Industrial Quarter, 459 Old York Road, Bethlehem. The event is hosted by Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites.

Mary Mulder, Historic Bethlehem special events manager, says last year’s Turkey Trot drew people from 27 states — many likely in town visiting family for the Thanksgiving weekend — and about 1,500 participants.

“It’s a fun family tradition,” Mulder says. “We have many, many repeat runners. It becomes part of the Thanksgiving weekend tradition.”

The course includes the National Historic Landmark District of Moravian Bethlehem.

Participants are encouraged, but not required, to wear a costume. Years past, some participants wore head-to-toe turkey costumes, pumpkin pie hats and Santa outfits.

The Turkey Trot has different ways you can take part — as a runner, a competitive walker or as an untimed fun walker. Prizes for first and second place will be awarded in six age groups, as well as to the overall male and female winners in the competitive walk. (You could win a turkey.)

Registered runners will receive a long-sleeve Turkey Trot T-shirt, refreshments and admission to Historic Bethlehem museums Saturday and Sunday with the race T-shirt or bib.

The race isn’t the only fun to be had.

This year, Santa will be attending the race. All participants will have the chance to take their photo with Mr. Claus after the race in the Colonial Industrial Quarter.

“It’s a nice kick-off to Christmas and end to Thanksgiving,” Mulder says.

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*What: The 13th Annual Historic Turkey Trot 5K Run & Fitness Walk

*Where: Colonial Industrial Quarter, 459 Old York Road, Bethlehem

*When: Nov. 28. Runners start at 9 a.m., competitive walkers, 9:05 a.m., fun walkers, 9:10 a.m.

*Registration: $40 online before 11:59 p.m. Nov. 24; $45 Nov. 25 through Nov. 28; fun walkers register for $25 through Nov. 24.

*Info: 610-691-6055,

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