Robert Husseman, The Triplicate

Walk and Fun Run kicks off at 10 a.m. Thursday

Participation is encouraged in Fourth of July celebrations in Del Norte County.

The Crescent City Fourth of July 5K Walk and 5K/10K Fun Run allows participants to go at their own pace.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. Thursday at the race's starting line; the race kicks off at 10 a.m. Cost is $5 without a T-shirt and $20 with one. (Kids 12 and under may walk or run for free.)

The race begins at the first pullout on Pebble Beach drive that lies just south of Washington Boulevard and ends at Beachfront Park. Elevation changes are minimal. Obstacles are few. The most important thing is getting out and being active.

"The worst that's going to happen," race director Ralph Hirt says, "you may get hit with a Mars bar."

Such is the danger of a race that takes place during a parade, as runners intermingle with floats for several blocks.

"I point out to all of my runners - it's a quirky thing in that normally a race director is telling them to stay away from vehicles," Hirt says. "When we hit that parade route, you stick as close to the floats and the fire engines as possible."

All because of those Mars bars - or, more precisely, the kids lining the parade route, looking to score some free candy in the process, participating in their own way.