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Forum staff reports, Published June 17 2011

MSUM July 4 races to start at Bluestem Center for the Arts

MOORHEAD – Minnesota State University Moorhead is moving the starting line for its Fourth of July races to the Bluestem Center for the Arts in south Moorhead.

“MSUM has wanted to expand participation for our community’s largest July Fourth celebration,” said President Edna Szymanski. “This is a great way to move it forward.”

The evening activities and annual fireworks extravaganza will go on as scheduled at MSUM’s Nemzek Field, the university said today.

Earlier this week, there were concerns that a potential government shutdown would affect MSUM’s annual event.

The races include 5K and 10K competitions as well as the Firecracker Trot for kids. Moving the races to Bluestem does not relate to the shutdown, said MSUM spokesman Doug Hamilton.

“There had been interest in finding a better venue,” said Hamilton, adding that closing the streets around MSUM had always been complicated. “Plus it’s a prettier place to run.”

The first race starts at 8 a.m. Event sponsors are Bennigan’s, Fargo Running Co., Sunmart Foods and Great Harvest Bread Co.

Bluestem Executive Director Sue Wiger said she is pleased to welcome the runners to Moorhead’s new premier outdoor venue.

“We are thrilled to host these events and we hope a large crowd turns out to cheer on the runners,” Wiger said.

For more information about the July 4 races, including the registration form and a course map, visit www.mnstate.edu/july4/events/2011RaceInformation.pdf.