YMCA’s 40th Mistletoe Run: A milestone celebration

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 23, 2023

Proceeds from the annual race will go toward Y programs that benefit youth in the community

WINSTON-SALEM — Gear up for the most spirited and memorable edition yet! The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina’s (NWNC) 40th annual Mistletoe Run, sponsored by Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A., returns to the William G. White Jr. Family YMCA on Saturday, Dec. 2, with an extra special touch — Mayor Allen Joines will attend at 7:45 a.m. to deliver a proclamation, officially inaugurating the milestone event. The day promises a celebration that transcends the usual race experience. 

Marking four decades of community support and youth empowerment, the Mistletoe Run embarks on this landmark year with a host of exciting additions and surprises. Before runners lace up for the one-mile fun run at 7:30 a.m., half marathon at 8 a.m., or the 5K at 8:15 a.m., the R.J. Reynolds High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Color Guard will present a striking display of patriotism while the Winston-Salem Symphony performs the national anthem. 

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts’s pickle mascot and Carolina Disco Turkeys’s mascot will join the festivities, adding a playful touch to the day. And that is not all — the Carolina Thunderbirds and Greensboro Swarm mascots are anticipated to make appearances, injecting the event with further sports excitement.

Adding rhythm and cheer, the Winston-Salem State University cheerleaders will be stationed at the start/finish line, energizing participants and spectators alike. Plus, guiding attendees through the occasion with wit and enthusiasm, local icon David Daggett, will serve as the run’s emcee.

Alongside the races, attendees can revel in a vibrant atmosphere filled with music, delectable bites from food trucks, a bustling vendor village and a dedicated kid’s zone. Complimentary childcare services will be available for registered runners, allowing families to enjoy every moment of the event. Additionally, the YMCA’s exclusive health and wellness partner, Novant Health, will be present to provide medical services at the start/finish line as needed.

“Our 40th annual Mistletoe Run is a momentous occasion that extends beyond a race — it demonstrates our community’s unwavering commitment to our mission,” said Darryl Head, president and CEO of the YMCA of NWNC. “Mistletoe is a celebration where every participant, from seasoned runners to first-timers, find success. It’s a day where friends, family and neighbors converge, fostering a sense of unity and purpose while nurturing our collective health. Together, we are creating thriving communities of healthy, kind and loving people.”

Proceeds from the run support youth development programs like Bright Beginnings, which provides clothing and school supplies for local students in need, and Reaching Our Potential, a referral program that provides memberships to middle and high school aged students at no cost, giving them access to a safe space to go outside of school hours. Additionally, funds are used to offer financial scholarships for summer camp and before and after school care.

Registration for all race options are open. Join the Y and the community for a day filled with camaraderie, athleticism and jubilation! For more information and registration details, go to ymcamistletoe.org.