Sure, the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty’s Shamrock Shuffle 5K/10K Race is a great way to raise money for local charities. But it’s an even better way to have some fun.

That’s because the event includes the Community Block Party on The Square @ Union Centre in West Chester that’s free for all participants.

The Community Block Party is “one of the best post-race celebrations around,” says Karen Gibbs, director of programs and marketing for the Community Foundation of West Chester. It includes a wide selection of food, including Glier’s Goetta and Taco Bell, and beer for the adult participants and hot chocolate for the kids, she says. About 5,000 people are expected to attend the event.

The 2019 event starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, March 9, with on-site registration and packet pickup at the Midpointe Library, 9363 Centre Pointe Drive, in West Chester Township. The 5K and 10K runs start at 9 a.m. and are quickly followed by the 5K walkers, strollers and dogs. The Community Block Party starts at 9:30 a.m.

Then the little ones ages 3-10 get in on the fun with the Leprechaun Lap Mini Race at the start/finish line at 10 a.m. The Community Block Party continues until noon when the culmination of the event—the Beer Obstacle Course—is conducted.

The Beer Obstacle Course is a fan favorite as “participants must complete a series of obstacles while holding a beer mug full of water,” says Gibbs. “At the finish line they fill their cups with beer to celebrate and the winner chooses a prize,” she says.

Proceeds from the Shamrock Shuffle 5K/10K Race and Community Block Party benefit the Community Foundation’s Community Grants Fund, which supports nonprofit organizations serving the West Chester and Liberty Township communities, says Gibbs. The event raised more than $110,000 in 2018, she says.

More than half of the participants join a charity team to raise money at the event, says Gibbs. “One-hundred percent of the proceeds from this event are invested back into the community through our Community Grants Fund or one of the participating charity teams,” she says.

The event is also a great way to bring the community together, Gibbs says. “It is one of the few times a year that community members, township representatives, local businesses, nonprofit organizations and schools are able to come together to have fun, celebrate and support their community,” she says.

For more information about the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty’s Shamrock Shuffle 5K/10K Race and Community Block Party visit theshamrockshuffle.com