“It’s about the party, mon.”  That’s a common expression that race organizers and others use – somewhat tongue-in-cheek – to describe the Reggae Run.  Maria’s family and friends say that the party is what she would have loved most about the event, and they feel she is there in spirit every year.


The party includes 30+ food and drink booths, including pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, jambalaya, chili, soup, salads and more.  All participants who pay the registration and get a wristband have access to this free food.  Also, participants who are 21 years and older receive tickets for four glasses of beer or wine.


Speaking of alcohol, all participants who plan to drink beer or wine should be sure to bring photo IDs, even if they think that they look old enough.  It’s the law, and it makes things much easier on our hard-working volunteers.  All participants must pick up their wristbands on the day of the event at Eden Park.  If possible, we suggest participants get them before the 5K in order to avoid longer lines afterwards.


One of the best things about the party is the live reggae music, which has traditionally been provided by The Ark Band.  Critics have laid much praise on The Ark Band including the following:

- "Truly tops in American reggae."

- "Possibly America's finest live reggae act."

- "One of the best reggae bands in the U.S."


The Olberding family’s relationship with The Ark Band goes back decades, when Maria and her siblings were fans in the late 1980s and when she booked them for Reggae Sundays at The Beach Waterpark in the 1990s.  Terry and Eustace Bobb – the “riddum brothers” – have been the constant in the band, providing soulful sounds that originated in their home of St. Lucia.  In recent years, frontman Mark Hunter has added energy and charisma that is undeniable.  Together, the band consistently inspires listeners to move from simply observing the music to becoming part of it.


For more information on The Ark Band, please visit their website at www.thearkband.com.

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