Tiny feet prepare for Edgartown’s rainbow run up Main Street

Parents and students from the Rainbow Place pre-school were off and running at the start of the 2010 race. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

There’s one day each year when traffic flows the wrong way up Main Street, Edgartown. O.K. — it’s foot traffic, and tiny feet at that. Once again on Saturday, May 19, the town closed down its main drag briefly for the Rainbow Place preschool’s annual Rainbow Run, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it event that has charmed early morning passersby and added a dash of color to whitewashed Edgartown for the past ten years.

Starting at the parking lot of the Atlantic Fish and Chophouse at 9 am and finishing up, about seven minutes later, at the Whaling Church, the fun event concludes with refreshments and trophies for all at a family gathering on the Whaling Church lawn.

The Rainbow Run is the non-profit school’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Kids and parents solicit donations and give local businesses the opportunity to be represented by a runner carrying a kid-crafted rainbow bearing their name. According to the school’s director, Cindy Andrews, the run raises between $8,000 and $10,000 every year.

“Any fundraiser we do we try to get the kids involved in some way,” said Ms. Andrews. “Because the money is going to be used for them, we want them to participate.”

When the run was established a decade ago, the preschool was located at the corner of Cooke Street and Pease Point Way in downtown Edgartown. It moved to its present location on Anthiers Way off the Vineyard Haven-Edgartown Road in 2000. “We loved our downtown location and the ability to walk around town and visit the businesses and make Main Street our own,” said Ms. Andrews, “We can’t do that as much, but we want to maintain our connection with the town.” The kids still take regular field trips to downtown businesses and are involved with an intergenerational program with the Center on Aging. At the new location the kids have the added advantage of woods and beach walks.

Ms. Andrews is in in the process of launching a second non-profit called Vineyard Rainbow, which will offer financial assistance towards academic opportunities for families in need. Ms. Andrews wants to help parents who can’t afford preschool, offer aid toward the purchasing of school supplies, and create scholarships for high school kids. Funding will be available to all kids, not just attendees of the Rainbow Place.

Ms. Andrews hopes to raise awareness of her new venture at the Rainbow Run, and at the school’s next event — the June Jamboree on June 7. On that date, the public is invited to the Whaling Church for a fun showcase of singing, dancing, and recitation by the school’s two- to seven-year-olds.

For more information on Rainbow Place call 508-627-8607.