It’s not your typical festival, but it’s definitely one that’ll get you moving.

We’re talking about the inaugural Festival of Miles, a night dedicated to mile long races, with eight categories to choose from — including tutus, kids and competitive — starting at 6 p.m. Friday, May 27.

It serves as a precursor to the TMC Meet Me Downtown Night Run the following night.

The evening includes free admission to the Children’s Museum Tucson for all families from 4 to 7 p.m., a vendor expo, live music, food trucks and other activities throughout the night.

Included in the festivities is the “Battle of the Badges,” a race category meant for civil servants and keepers of the peace — police, sheriff, fire, border patrol and military.

The fastest Battle of the Badges team of five will win a $250 donation to the charity of their choice.

A mile just for kids, FitKidz Mile, will also take place. It’s free for every child 12 and under. Participating kids will receive a SAR (Southern Arizona Roadrunners) FitKidz shirt and other goodies. More than 400 kids participated in last year’s race.

The course starts and finishes in front of the Children’s Museum, with a one mile loop along South Sixth Avenue.

While there are competitive categories, the idea of the mile festival is to get Tucson moving, while having fun. Participants can walk, stroll, jog or run. All ages and abilities are welcome.

The Festival of Miles is part of a national movement, “Bring Back the Mile.” You can read more about it at

The TMC Meet Me Downtown 5k Night Run and Walk will take place at 7 p.m. May 28, with pre-race activities starting at 5 p.m.

Meet Me Downtown was started by Randy and Tia Accetta 10 years ago to promote downtown Tucson through fitness and social activities for all ages and abilities.

Also known as “MMD,” the race features discounts at local restaurants, a beneficiary and vendor expo, children’s activities, a beer garden, live music and an after party at Hotel Congress.

There are prizes for both the Festival of Miles and Meet Me Downtown. For the latest information and to register, go online to

Families and schools reporter for #ThisIsTucson. Artist, photographer, mother of one.