Flag Raising Ceremony Kicks Off Boilermaker Week

(Jul. 6, 2009)

July 6, 2009 (Utica, NY) — The Boilermaker has teamed with the Utica Auditorium Authority and the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for the Refugees to present the first international flag raising ceremony.  The event took place on Monday, July 6 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium to officially kick off Boilermaker week.

Mayor David Roefaro was present as the flags were raised above the Utica landmark, the Utica Memorial Auditorium, to praise the diversity of the city and of the race.  There were 31 nations represented, in addition to the flags for the city, county, MIA/POW, and Boilermaker.

"This event announces the official start of Boilermaker week," said Tim Reed, executive director of the Boilermaker.  "It raises awareness so the city begins thinking about the race while also honoring the nations of those runners who have participated in the Boilermaker over the past 31 years.  It seems like a natural fit to involve the Refugee Center and their International Mile."

The International Mile is a one-mile stretch of the Boilermaker racecourse which highlights the cultural heritage of the Mohawk Valley.  It receives widespread acclaim from runners and spectators as it features ethnic musical artists and dancers.  This will mark the 4th year of the unique mile.

"The international flag raising ceremony is so important because is emphasize the diversity within our community," said Shana Pughe, coordinator for public relations and events for Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees. "I think it is wonderful that we have the opportunity to recognize runners from all over the world."

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