There’s Festival of Lights along Chandler Boulevard and the Kick-Off Party that goes with it the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
And there’s the arrival of Santa Claus the day after Thanksgiving in front of Mille’s Hallmark Store in Ahwatukee Plaza on Elliot Road and 50th Street.
Now, Hans Lauden wants to add a third tradition to Ahwatukee’s Thanksgiving Day weekend.
He’s planned the first Tukee Trot, a 5K walk-run that will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Black Friday, starting at Desert Vista High School.
With an 8:30 a.m. start at Desert Vista High School, the 3.1-mile race is chip-timed and includes awards for all finishers.
Also on tap is a free one-mile Quail Fun Run around Vista Canyon Park for kids 11 and under.
The $25 registration fee also is for a goal in keeping with the holiday spirit.
Proceeds will go to the Kyrene Foundation and the Family Resource Center, both of which help needy families in the school district.
People can register at raceroster.com/events/2019/26605/tukee-trot-5k.
Lauden calls the trot “Ahwatukee’s local race with a big heart – and a lofty community goal.
“It’s time that Ahwatukee had its own community 5K on Thanksgiving weekend - given how many runners and fitness-oriented folks of all ages are active in our town,” he said.
“It’s a great way to have fun with family and friends with a morning 3.1-mile run or walk and to work off the big Thanksgiving meal,” he added.
“Our goal is to make this an annual tradition as part of the Thanksgiving weekend holiday. We estimate between 300-400 participants based on the strong registrations and enthusiasm,” he said.
Lauden and other local volunteers are organizing the trot and he notes he also wants to help the Kyrene Foundation’s annual Winter Wonderland toy drive.
The Winter Wonderland has become a magical time for needy families, who are invited to the district’s headquarters for a festive celebration.
“We will have a toy drive collection station and we would be grateful if participants could bring a new, unwrapped toy or ball to the event,” Lauden said.
Early registrants can receive a dri-fit race shirt in men’s, women’s and junior sizing and all finishers also receive a Tukee Trot 15 oz mug as keepsake award.
“The fun post-race scene will also feature an ‘athletes’ breakfast,’ awards for top three finishers across multiple age groups and local information booths, Lauden said.
He and his team have mapped out a scenic route on 32nd street south of Chandler with input from local runners, high school cross-country teams and Phoenix Police.