News and notes from around town:
• What do you suppose would happen if I threw a vat of food coloring on my wife? I’m assuming that she would be tickled by it. After all, she is planning on paying someone $40 to throw all types of color on her while she runs approximately three miles. (Some people would say five kilometers, but I thought we fought the Cold War so we wouldn’t have to learn the metric system.)
In fact, lots of people are going to run through downtown and East Lawrence while people throw some type of color solution on them. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you must have been living underneath some type of black and white rock for the last several months.
The event is called a Color Run, and it is quite a craze. In fact, it now appears certain that Lawrence’s Color Run on Oct. 6 will be the largest single race ever held in the city.
Bob Sanner with the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau told me that 5,000 people already have signed up to participate in the event. For a bit of perspective, the Lawrence Half Marathon, which is a big event, attracts around 2,500 participants.
Thus far, the Color Run has been adding about 1,000 new participants per week, so Sanner believes 8,000 people is a very likely possibility and there is even a chance for 10,000 runners to be in Downtown Lawrence on Oct. 6.
Think about that for a second: 10,000 people invading Downtown Lawrence for a 4 o'clock race on a Saturday afternoon, and all of them expecting to get plastered with some type of cornstarch-like color solution. There have been a lot of crazy sights in downtown on a Saturday, but this is likely to rank pretty high on the list.
And yes, this is Lawrence, so it would be hard to have an athletic event without beer. (I knew there was a reason I never left this town after college.) The 900 block of New Hampshire Street will be closed for a good part of the afternoon and evening of Oct. 6 to accommodate the finish line for the race and the starting line for the after-party for the event.
In fact, quite a few streets will be closed for the race. The event will feature an entirely closed course, meaning there won’t be any traffic along the route of the race. There also will be four areas set up along the race course that have special color injectors that shoot the color solution, which race organizers say is completely natural and cleans up off the streets easily. If you are interested in what areas will be impacted, here’s a link to a map. If you live along one of the streets you should soon be getting a letter from the city detailing traffic arrangements for the day.
If you are interested in learning more about how the race works, click here. Or, you can watch me dump a vat of red food coloring on my wife. I can’t wait to make her so happy.
• Upon further reflection, I have a feeling that may not work as well as I once thought. If I dumped a vat of food coloring on my wife, I suspect she may dump a few of my worldly possessions on the lawn.
Or, she could modify them a bit and sell them as art at a new boutique in Downtown Lawrence.
URU: Upcycled, Re-Purposed, Up-Styled has opened at 1113 Mass., in the former home of the Vagabond Book Shop. The shop has all kinds of items that it sells both on consignment and through rented booths. But it is working to carve a niche as a place where people take ordinary things and turn them into something less than ordinary.
For example, one vendor sells purses made out of plastic grocery bags. The bags go through some sort of process where they are infused, and then they are molded into plastic purses. Or another example is an artist who takes items such as old drum cymbals or vinyl records or even license plates and turns them into clocks.
There are also more traditional items like hand-crafted jewelry and antiques, said Brittany Bengel, who manages the store that is owned by her mother, Sharmain Saldan.
Bengel said her mother is the former owner of an antique mall in California, and then began selling heavily online.
“We just try to have an eclectic mix of everything,” Bengel said.
So far, business has been good. The store is in the process of expanding into the building’s back room. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
• Another week, another set of land transfers as recorded by the Douglas County Register of Deeds office. Click here to see the list for the week ending Sept. 3.
There was one commercial sale of note. The building at 5150 Clinton Parkway, which is right near Kansas University’s tennis facility and the former Sport 2 Sport complex — has been sold. The building — which at one point housed the Family Church of Lawrence but I believe no longer does — was sold by a group that included Lawrence resident George and Judy Paley and Rich and Judi Mahaley. The new owner is Iverd LLC, which I believe is led by Lawrence businessman David Sakumura