Swifts Beach Races end summer on a competitive note

By Lydia Goerner | Sep 04, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner The kangaroo races must be completed with a rubber ball between participants' legs.

The decades-old Labor Day weekend tradition continued in the Swifts Beach community, bringing residents of all ages to compete in field day games on Monday.

The Swifts Beach Annual Labor Day Races usually have a couple hundred people taking part in foot races, a kangaroo race, an egg toss, a one-mile marathon and even a dog race.

Janet Pilleri, the event coordinator, said her favorite thing about the event every year is watching the kids get excited about each event and the prizes they receive.

Grandparents, little kids and dogs stood in a big circle in Joe Conway Memorial Park, surrounding competitors and cheering them on.

“It’s just about families,” Pilleri said. “It brings everybody out, it ends the season well.”

Claire Demeo, who brought her kids to the event, agreed.

“The kids enjoy racing even if they don’t win,” Demeo said. Demeo has been attending the Swifts Beach Races for 15 years and said she sees a lot of the same faces at the event each Labor Day, giving the neighborhood a greater sense of community.

Local businesses donated prizes and snacks for participants so every participant received a small reward for taking part.

“The businesses really stepped up,” Pilleri said. “It’s because of their donating that this happens.”

Boys compete in foot races for their age group. Foot race competitions were held in groups from age 2 to grandparents. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Foot race winners celebrate with their prizes, donated by the Swifts Beach Improvement Association. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Two women hold hands for the foot race in the "grandmas" category. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
The foot races offered some stiff competition. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Lisa Krulouris (second from left) lives in the neighborhood and said she attends the races every year with her family. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
The kangaroo race supplied a challenge for young competitors. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
A boy hops to the finish line in the kangaroo race. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
All ages were called upon to participate in the races. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
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