Driving and parking downtown with Sunburst Races and more events

NOW: Driving and parking downtown with Sunburst Races and more events

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Thousands of runners, volunteers, and spectators will be out in downtown South Bend Saturday for the annual Sunburst Races! This year marks the 38th year of races, which directly benefit the children and families of Beacon Children's Hospital.

With all of the fun events happening on Friday night and the rest of the weekend across South Bend, people coming out downtown should be prepared for the street closures and limited parking spaces on the streets, especially for Saturday's Sunburst races, which take runners through a big part of the city.

“We have to close down roads to make vibrant activities happen," says Senior Director of Marketing and Events for Downtown South Bend, Kylie Carter.

Downtown South Bend is hosting plenty of vibrant, family-friendly events this weekend to kick off the start of summer in the city. Events to look forward to include June's First Friday, the summer fitness series, and the highly anticipated, annual Sunburst races!

“It’s probably the most activities we’ve had in the First Fridays since Covid started," says Carter. "So, with really great weather, we’re expecting a great turnout and I think people are, especially with the start of summer, looking to get out and have some good times.”

“I feel like Sunburst has always kind of been like the unofficial kick-off to summer, so we’re really excited about that," says Courtney Kipker, Sunburst Races Director.

The Sunburst Races directly support the children and families at Beacon Children's Hospital, and bring a large crowd of over 4,000 runners and walkers to town.

“Last time I looked, we had participants from 31 different states and four different countries," Ki[ker says. "So I know we have people spending the night, I know we have people dining in our restaurants, so I think it’s a really good thing for the city.”

The race route takes runners from Four WInds Field to the 50 yard line at Notre Dame Stadium. Starting Friday night through Saturday morning, several downtown streets will be blocked off. For anyone looking to hang out downtown this weekend, be prepared for detours and take advantage of the free parking garages.

“Parking is free nights and weekends; on-street parking and in our parking garages. So if you can’t find something on the street, head into the garages and you can find free parking," Carter recommends.

“It’s the same route that it’s always been, and we start at 6:30 and our roads will open up by 10 a.m," says Kipker. "So I know it’s an inconvenience, it’s a short amount of time, but we’re doing it for the kids and that’s what really matters.”

For more information on downtown events happening through the summer, you can visit the DTSB website.

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