Proposed Marathon, Dog Walk & Craft Beer Festival In 2017 Draws Interest, Excitement
A festival featuring marathon races, a dog walk and craft beer could well be coming to the City of Douglas in summer 2017.
“What I am doing is bringing all my interests together,” Peter Gower told the Douglas City Council of his proposed festival, of which he has yet to come up with a name for, during Monday night’s meeting.
This would be Gower’s first time organizing a marathon, but he is confident he could pull it off and accomplish all the ideas he has laid out: a half marathon, a 10K, a 5K, a kids run, a dog walk, and the finale at Beery Field featuring up to 12 local food vendors and up to 30 area microbreweries.
“We’ve done the Mt. Baldhead Challenge (a 5K course) and the Town Crier (a 5K and 10K race). This takes us to a whole new level. There’s a whole circuit out there that looks like we have been missing,” said Douglas Mayor Jim Wiley.
His colleagues were equally enthusiastic about the concept.
“I am excited, I think this is fantastic. I am a local business owner (Rosemont Inn Bed & Breakfast). It’s kind of a quiet time during that time (the proposed schedule is June 3 and 4),” noted newly elected Douglas City Council Member Patricia Lion.
Some of the marathon courses are proposed within the City of Saugatuck.
“They (Saugatuck officials) are interested, but they have some concerns, mainly with the closing of roads,” said Gower, adding that it would be no problem as most merchants do not open for business in the early hours of the day when runners will be running the course.
Gower is a marathon runner himself. He has traveled the world as a global business development and sales executive for the wine and spirits industry.
His gallery, The Palette in downtown Douglas, is slated to open its doors this coming spring, featuring young international artists.
“I love wine and know about wine, but craft beer is popular and everywhere in this area,” he said.
Citing estimates and getting tutelage from race management companies and his expansive network of running clubs, Grower expects to draw 1,200 participants and up to 2,000 visitors.
“I think that is a conservative estimate,” he said.
Gower and city officials are expected to work out details and present a formal proposal for evaluation and review process before the end of the year.