The Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe will host its 41st annual Big Bird Run at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Recreation Center.

The Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe will host its 41st annual Big Bird Run at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Recreation Center.

Photo provided by the Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe

Big Bird Run to return to Eastpointe and Roseville for 41st year

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 14, 2019


EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — The Big Bird Run, one of the Eastpointe and Roseville community’s longest-running traditions, is returning.

The Big Bird Run is a series of community races organized by the Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe. Three runs of different lengths are offered that start and end at the RARE building and wind through the city.

“It’s a 10K, a 4K and a 1-mile fun run. It’s a fun family event where people can go out for a healthy program, and it raises money for local programs that help students and families in need,” said RARE Director Tony Lipinski. “This includes the Roseville Optimist Club, the Lions Club, the Kiwanis Club, ASPIRE, the Roseville Band Boosters and Goodfellows.”

The event gets its name from RARE raffling off dozens of frozen turkeys to participants just in time for the Thanksgiving season.

“This will be the 41st annual Big Bird Run. Russ LaBarge, the former Roseville city attorney, and Larry Snelling, who was the assistant Recreation Department director, talked about getting a running event going,” explained Lipinski. “Originally, they gave away live turkeys until one got away and they couldn’t catch it. Then they moved to frozen turkeys after that.”

Registration for the runs costs $25 per runner, which includes a shirt. The cost will be $30 on race day.

“This year it will be Sunday, Nov. 10. It starts at 10 a.m. at the Recreation Center,” Lipinski said. “They all begin and end here. When the 1-mile ends, the 4K starts, and after they start, the 10K begins. They all wind throughout the streets of Roseville, heading up Gratiot and then splitting off into the side streets or the 11 Mile Road Service Drive depending on which route you take.”

Organizers say the event will be both fun for participants and good for the community.

“It’s open to everyone. With the different options for route, it’s a good event for anyone regardless of skill,” said RARE Assistant Director Sarah Frederick. “Local organizations volunteer for the event. Part of the proceeds we get for the event go back to them. Roseville Kiwanis Club and the Roseville Lions Club both have members help out at the event, for instance, and we support them with the proceeds.”

Beside the traditional turkeys, several other prizes will be given away at the event thanks to the support of local institutions. These groups also help oversee the runs.

“Many of the sponsors donate items like healthy food for after the event,” said Lipinski. “They donate some other items to raffle off as well. It’s a nice way to bring the community together, both its residents and its businesses. The police and Fire Department contribute as well with security and so forth. It’s a great community event.”

Frederick said it’s a great event because many runs require those in the Eastpointe and Roseville communities to travel long distances.

“Runs are pretty popular, but many are hosted far away or in downtown Detroit, and this is a great way for the local communities to take part in a local event,” said Frederick. “I think it’s awesome. It’s a unique prize for the people who take part. The winners can have something to take home and get something to show for their hard work.”

RARE officials hope people from all over the community come in to participate.

“We try to incorporate both the Roseville and Eastpoitne communities,” said Lipinski. “It’s a fun event and you don’t have to be a good runner. We have some shorter, easy courses. We have some raffles with great prizes. … We like having a community event that’s good for people of all skill levels.”