Shag the Drag coming to Fort Dodge

Run-walk to coincide with Market on Central, raise money for Meals on Wheels

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Jenn Becker, left, and her husband, Luke Becker, Shag the Drag along Central Avenue recently. Runners and walkers will be following this path for the Shag the Drag run-walk event Thursday night.

When runners from Shag the Drag finish their race on Thursday, they will be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Market on Central, another popular event in downtown Fort Dodge.

That’s because the two events will coincide with each other for the second year in a row.

“Last year we did it on a Saturday in accordance with Market on Central,” Jenn Becker, co-creator of Shag the Drag., said. “Since it was moved to Thursday, we also moved the race to a Thursday.”

Shag the Drag is a three-mile run-walk that debuted in 2017. All the proceeds for the event go to support Meals on Wheels.

Market on Central is an outdoor event that features a variety of art, music, food, and other products.

Participants for Shag the Drag are to gather on the grounds of the Ringland-Smeltzer House, 1019 Second Ave. S., at 5 p.m. for registration.

The race begins at 5:30 p.m.

For the three mile run-walk, participants will head north on 12th Street toward Daniel Pharmacy, leading everyone to Shag the Drag for two blocks down Central Avenue, then take a jog over to First Avenue South, and cutting back over to Central Avenue by the First Avenue South roundabout.

The run doesn’t end there. Participants will then zig zag south down to the former Sunkissed Meadows Golf Course and enjoy the beautiful trail along the river. The last stretch of the run will be heading north on Seventh Street.

The run will end back on Central Avenue, where people can continue shagging the drag.

For past Fort Dodge generations, Shag the Drag meant to drive along Central Avenue, listening to music with the windows down and seeing what was happening downtown.

“The name Shag the Drag, our theory was, both my husband (Luke) and I were born and raised in Fort Dodge and we loved the traditions of Fort Dodge,” Becker said. “So we thought it would be fun to bring Shag the Drag back in a new way. Both of our parents have memories of doing that in high school and in their youth, and even our grandparents as well. Bringing back Shag the Drag is a new way to get people downtown and enjoying what downtown has to offer.”

The event also has a special cause, Becker said.

“A couple of years ago, it came to my attention that Meals on Wheels was trying to be reinstated in our community,” she said. “We felt like this was a great way to support their efforts and what they are trying to do in our community.”

Meals on Wheels is a nonprofit program that delivers nutritious meals to seniors and others unable to leave their homes.

“Last year we were able to present a $1,000 check to Meals on Wheels, so we are hoping to do the same, if not more, this year.”

Water and fruit will be provided to participants.

Becker said people can also run one mile.

“That’s basically just starting at the Smeltzer House and walking on Market on Central and back. That is not as formal of a walk, but if participants do want to donate their $5 to Meals on Wheels and then they can just go walk basically to the library and back,” she said.

Participants can pre-register for the run at:

“We are giving out gift cards to Olde Boston’s, ShinyTop Brewery, Pancheros, and Rush Hour Clothing Co., that we will hand out to randomly selected early registers,” Becker said.