Stark Parks' Quail Hollow hosts virtual Veterun event
HARTVILLE This year marked year three for the veteran’s run held at Quail Hollow and hosted by Stark Parks. It also marked the first year the event went part in-person and part virtual.
The past two years, the in-person included a group of people gathering at the start of the trail the Manor House at Quail Hollow in Hartville at a set time to begin running the same route all at once. Activities and demonstrations would happen before and after the run to further the celebration and observance of veterans.
As with so many events around Stark County this year, the Veterun was a virtual experience that took place between Nov. 6 and Nov. 13. The Nature for All Trail was lined with American flags paying tribute to veterans with signs sharing the stories of Stark Parks employees and volunteers who have served in the armed forces. Participants were asked to run a 5K along the trail and then report back to the event over the internet.
“The Virtual 5K can could be completed at any location as well as on the Nature for All Trail at Quail Hollow, then each participant filled out a completion form online,” Public Relations Coordinator with Stark Parks Jared Shive wrote in an email. “This part of the event was on the honor system. A commemorative medal was sent to the first 150 participants.”
Shive said a few hundred people were expected to “experience either the walk at Quail Hollow Park or run their own virtual 5K at a location during that week.”
The in-person event usually has had veterans, their families and others attending who want to support and honor the veterans. Stark Parks has hosted the event to observe Veteran’s Day and to show the patriotism and gratitude to them. The in-person event has always been free and didn’t require registration, the virtual event was free as well.
“Many visitors find the patriotic display, with flags placed by Operation Flags of Freedom from Perry Township, a powerful and moving experience," Shive said. "Our event planning teams have been creative in how we can encourage visitors to enjoy and discover this year. On your own and self-guided experiences like a virtual event allow for the participant to complete many of these at their comfort level and schedule.”