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On the Run: Sign up for Classic and get a free ticket to Sesame Place


How much more fun can one day get?

Start it off in the morning by running in either a 5K, 1-mile or Sprint race, then spend the rest of the afternoon exploring all the inviting attractions of Sesame Place.

The schedule promises to bring smiles to everyone from young kids to, shall we say, older ones.

Yes, it’s the 23rd annual Sesame Place Classic this Sunday at the famed park in Langhorne.

And the best part is, each registered runner for the Classic gets a free, one-day admission ticket to Sesame Place, good through June 18. Besides that, all entrants can purchase an additional five tickets to Sesame at a 50% discounted rate.

More than 1,000 runners signed up for last year’s Classic and this year’s field is rapidly approaching that number.

So don’t miss this big chance. Online registration is still open. Just visit

You can also sign up for the race during packet pickup at Oxford Valley Mall (Macy’s front court), which will be held on Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. and again on Saturday from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m.

In addition, registration will be available the morning of the race but the best way to avoid delays and waiting lines is to sign up early.

The Classic is jointly organized and sponsored by the Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis Club and the Bucks County Herald.

This year’s Classic spotlights Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie, who appear on the event’s sharp-looking T-shirts.

“It’s almost race time,” said Kiwanis Club and race committee member Dixie Rhodes. “I can hardly wait. I hope the Sesame characters are wearing their running shoes.

“There will be an atmosphere of friendly competition and family fun all around.”

Proceeds from the Classic benefit the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund, which has raised some $500,000 since the event’s inception in 1999.

“Perhaps the best part of the race occurs three days later,” Rhodes said. “The proceeds from the race go toward honoring the top college-bound seniors from 18 schools in Bucks County. A banquet is held (at the Spring Mill Manor in Ivyland) to celebrate those scholar-athletes who were outstanding in the classroom, in athletics and in their community.”

The Classic’s 5K course encircles Oxford Valley Mall and is flat and fast. The first race is the 1-mile event and that commences at 7 a.m., followed by the 5K at 8 a.m. The Sesame Sprint, a 50-yard competition for young children, starts at approximately 8:45 a.m.

“The Kiwanis Club is so excited to sponsor another year of healthy family fun with the Sesame Classic 5K,” said Kiwanis Club president Jill Saul. “I can't describe the rush of joy to see parents high-fiving their children who have crossed the finish line for the first time. It is such a fun time for everyone.

“The fact that it helps to sponsor scholar-athletes in their endeavors toward higher education adds to the rewards of the day. The Sesame characters interacting with children, the walkers talking and smiling and the sea of matching shirts makes for an exciting and wholesome event.”

Runners receive a special Sesame Place Classic finisher’s medal.

Planning and organizing such an event takes the better part of a year but the efforts are all worth it when so many runners from Bucks County and beyond leave with pleased expressions.

"It takes a tremendous amount of planning along with several challenges in putting on the Sesame Place Classic,” said Bucks County Herald’s Ernie Nocito. “This effort ultimately results in a fantastic event that is supported and enjoyed by participants at all levels, young and old.

“As for the Scholar-Athlete Awards banquet, we all are very proud of each and every student recognized in receiving this prestigious award. Their achievements and growth at this early stage is reassuring that they will emerge as leaders of tomorrow."

Sesame Place always looks forward to host this annual red-letter date.

"This wonderful event has created countless opportunities for students, and Sesame Place Philadelphia is honored to host for the 23rd year,” said Sesame Place’s PJ Schweizer “The park is excited to give runners a day of Sesame Street-themed fun."

So come out to Sesame Place this Sunday and see what all the happy noise is about.

“It doesn't matter whether you come in first or second place or how fast, you still can walk away with a grin on your face and a finisher medal around your neck,” said Kiwanis Club and race committee member Mary Berman. “We can't wait to see everyone, so put on those magical sneakers and come out there and be ready to ‘Go!’ ”

To register, visit

Race calendar

Saturday – Sunshine Foundation Run, Walk, Bark for Dreams 5K, 8 a.m., Richboro. Contact

Sunday – 23rd annual Sesame Place Classic 5K, 1-Mile, Sesame Sprint, 7 a.m., Langhorne. Contact

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