Perry Square took on a brighter look Saturday, covered in every color of the rainbow from corner to corner.
Deb Szymanski and her friends drove in from Kane, Pennsylvania.
She said each summer the Color Run is worth the trip.
"It's colorful. It's happy. It's a good way to get out and see Erie and exercise," said Szymanski, a runner.
Organizers gave runners and walkers bags of what's called "color chalk."
That's after they were sprayed with yellows, pinks and blues along their stroll.
It's a phenomenon picking up speed across the globe.
Today more than 35 countries hold their own Color Runs.
Coordinators told us the paint race celebrates healthiness, individuality and of course happiness.
"They call it the happiest 5K, it's happy. People are excited, high energy. It's a great time, great for families too," said Jordana Elder, a runner.
There's more to this 5K than just the party. Each year the organization picks a local charity to support.
"For each city we partner with a charity and this one is the YMCA with Erie and proceeds will go to them," said Zach Webster, the festival rover.
A portion of the money raised benefits the YMCA of Greater Erie’s Wellness for Veterans program at the Downtown Y.
The race also aims to get people excited about a healthy lifestyle, which pairs nicely with YMCA's mission.
The organization claims more than half of Color Run participants are first-time 5K runners.
"Everyone's smiling. Everyone's having a good time and I think the color is a big factor. It's something different and people want to be colorful," said Webster.
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