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WOOD RIVER - The City of Wood River has a busy summer of family fun ahead, between the return of the Wood River Police 5k and Summer Kickoff, as well as movies, concerts, and more.

Wood River Main Street Executive Director Kristen Burns said on Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com that this year’s Summer Kickoff is already shaping up to be bigger than the last one, offering something for everybody.

“Summer Kickoff is bigger than we had last year,” Burns said. “We have over 40 vendors that are in, plus food trucks, plus the barbecue cookoff …we have Bluey that’s going to be running around - literally, you can find anything.”

The barbecue cookoff at this year’s Summer Kickoff will feature $1,500 in cash prizes. The Kickoff is set for Saturday, May 18, 2024, from 2 to 6 p.m., shortly following the Wood River Police 5K.

The WRPD 5K begins earlier that afternoon with registration at 12 p.m. and an official start time of 1 p.m. Visit this link to register online in advance for the WRPD 5K, though Burns said you can also sign up the day of the event.

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Burns added that the proceeds from this year’s WRPD 5k will go towards Dupo Police Sgt. Pat Carrier, who was shot in the line of duty and sustained a serious injury which prevents him from returning to full duty. More details about Carrier and the WRPD 5K itself are available on the event’s Facebook page.

“We really wanted to be able to raise these funds and give them to him and his family, to just help offset some of the costs that he has to deal with,” Burns said of Carrier.

She also noted the 5K falls on the last day of Police Week, which runs from May 12-18, 2024. The same occurred last year, which Burns recalled as a particularly impactful experience.

“I think that it really hit home being the last day of Police Week,” she said of last year’s event. “It just felt like that’s when it needed to be, and why not have a party afterwards?”

After the 5K and Kickoff, Burns said the first Summer Movie in Central Park (“The Wizard of Oz”) is set for June 14, 2024, the same day as this year’s Bike Ramble. Burns said it’s the perfect opportunity for those cooling off from their bike rides to enjoy a movie, given the park’s proximity to the Round House, where the Bike Ramble path starts and ends.

Future events are slated for July and August, and while Burns said details on those are still being finalized, she did confirm that the July event is set to be a concert, followed by another movie in August.

For more information about all the summer events coming up in Wood River, and more about Wood River Main Street, check out the full interview with Burns at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.

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