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Kaukauna celebrates 15th annual Fox Firecracker 5K Run/Walk

Fox Firecracker 5K
Posted at 12:28 PM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 13:31:23-04

KAUKAUNA (NBC 26) — Every Fourth of July, people gather in Kaukauna to celebrate with the Fox Firecracker 5k Run/Walk and Kids Run. Over 1400 runners participated in the race this year - organizers say it was the biggest race yet.

“Every year it gets a little bit bigger, and with COVID a lot of the races have dropped, we’ve actually grown. To be on a Monday of a Fourth of July weekend, we would expect our numbers to be a little bit lower, but it’s higher than ever," said Dr. Alan Cherkasky, one of the race directors and the emcee who helped organize the race back when first began.

He says the race started 15 years ago as part of the Fox Cities Triathlon Club.

"We wanted to make a race that was family friendly, we thought a triathlon would be too intimidating so we made a run and a walk," Cherkasky said, "The city got on board with it and it has grown phenomenally.”

He says organizers work to make sure every detail of the race is American-themed, right down to the apple pie the runners get to eat after the race.

"We like to make it very Americana, it’s red, white and blue, every finisher gets a flag,” Cherkasy said.

Kaukauna mayor Tony Penterman says the event is a city-wide collaboration between the street department, fire department, and police department. He says every year the event brings huge crowds from around Northeast Wisconsin into the city, making it a beloved Fourth of July tradition.

“Here we are 15 years later. It’s a great race, it brings thousands of people to our downtown,” Pentermen said. "It’s just a great event for the city of Kaukauna.”