Marion Arts Festival Director: Half Marathon & 5K Help Keep the Festival Free


The Half Marathon and 5K (May 17) play a major role in keeping the Marion Arts Festival a free, family-friendly event. The runs have also helped the Festival become the No. 1 one-day event in the nation among festivals featuring 100 artists or fewer (Art Fair Source Book), according to Deb Bailey, Director of the Marion Arts Festival. (You can register for the runs here.) 

"For an art festival to be locally produced and nonprofit is kind of a rarity these days," Bailey said. "Most events that feature professional, full-time artists are put on by for-profit businesses, with admission at the gate and a cut taken from the artists' sales."

Bailey said the Half Marathon and 5K help significantly in paying the bills for park rental, trash removal, security, portable toilets and other non-glamorous expenses.  

Beyond paying the bills, the addition of the half-marathon specifically has allowed the Festival to fund month-long, pre-festival school residencies, with professional ceramicists rotating between high schools in the Marion Independent and Linn-Mar School Districts.  


Runs Bridge the Gap 

Bailey said that JMS Racing Services, a Marion company that organizes and times the races, paves the way for other sponsors to support the festival. All of this support works towards keeping the festival a free, family-friendly, come as you are event. 

"In an industry taken over by event production companies, the fact that we even exist is crazy, let alone recognized as one of the nation's top festivals," Bailey said. "The Half Marathon and 5K bridge the gap between being a little known event and being a nationally recognized, destination fine art festival."

Train safe and see you on race day!

Submit a comment

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted

Cancel reply