ST. GEORGE — The goal every year for the Harvest Festival and Turkey Trot is to collect a ton of food for the Utah Food Bank. Literally, a ton. As in 2,000 pounds of food. 

Turkey Trot participants from a past race display their medals. The 2023 event will be staged Saturday, Nov. 11, at J.C. Snow Park | Photo courtesy of city of St. George, St. George News

Aaron Metler, the recreation manager for Races and Events at the city of St. George, has witnessed many examples of generosity shown by members of the St. George community for a variety of causes. This year, he’d love to see folks dig just a little bit deeper — and set a record for the most food collected.

“The event encompasses the spirit of the holidays with the food drive and fun of the Harvest Festival,” Metler said in a news release. “Our goal is to break the record on food collected and donated to Utah Food Bank. That amount is 2,050 pounds in 2019. I know we can surpass that in 2023.”

In this unofficial kickoff to the holiday season, community members can celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with some outdoor exercise while also giving back to families in need during the Turkey Trot on Saturday, Nov. 11, at J.C. Snow Park at 9:30 a.m. This event includes a 5K run as well as a 1-mile option.

All participants are required to bring at least five canned goods, along with a registration cost of $5 for those ages 14 and older. Children 13 and younger are free with five canned goods. Bib pickup and canned goods drop-off is Friday, Nov. 10, from 4-6 p.m. at the St. George City Commons building (220 North 200 East) and the morning of the event at Snow Park from 8-9:30 a.m.

Register for the race here.

The Harvest Festival will follow the races, starting at 10:30 a.m. and features festival games, dancing, pie-eating contests and a variety of giveaways.

“Bring the whole family out — whether it is to donate cans, run a race, or eat a pie,” Metler added. “There are so many things to love about the Harvest Festival and Turkey Trot. It’s a great feeling to help people in need in addition to having fun outdoors with loved ones.”

St. George Races, a division within the Parks and Community Services Department of the city of St. George, hosts a variety of half marathons, 10K, 5K, kids runs, triathlons, bike events, relays and other special events throughout the city of St. George and Washington County. A variety of sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available for area businesses.