What a great tradition Greensboro has in the annual "Running of the Balls" event through the Sunset Hills neighborhood. It has to be the most magical run in the United States, maybe the world. At dusk, droves of people descend upon the neighborhood decked out in blinking Christmas lights, Santa hats, elf-outfits, glow sticks, and just about any festive garb they can muster. Participants run, or walk, the course in the dark, by the glow of the 1' round light balls shot high into the mature trees throughout the neighborhood. An hour later, people were still crossing the finish line to be greeted by the scene above: bonfires, samples of frozen yogurt, strings of lights, and friends and neighbors standing around talking and taking photos galore.
The Running of the Balls is to Greensboro and Sunset Hills what The Easter Parade is to New York City and Fifth Avenue. If you are a first-timer, you might not be immediately aware of how important the participants are to the event. The more you deck yourself out, the more connected you will feel to the event. This year was the 3rd of the now-annual race and, so far, it remains an uncommercial way to herald the Christmas season and to collect food for those in need. If you missed the race, you still have time to drive through the neighborhood and experience the lights. Do remember to take some canned goods to leave at the corner of Madison and Ridgeway. Merry Christmas!