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Summer Fun: Parrot Head Run

Updated: Jul 26, 2019

This month I traveled to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio to volunteer as event photographer at the 3rd annual Parrot Head Run, a 5k run and fundraiser benefitting Fostering Hope

I had the opportunity to shoot the first annual event in 2017 and managed to turn in some decent images, but this time around I’d have much more confidence as an event photographer and some pro-level gear on. I was excited to contribute.

The Parrot Head Run started in memory of Brianne Macioce, a family friend who took her own life after battling mental health issues. Brianne was a big Jimmy Buffet fan, so the race organizers chose ‘Parrot Head’—a nickname for Buffet fans—as the theme for the race.

The race takes a scenic route through the Flats, a swanky-but-gritty district of downtown Cleveland that banks the Cuyahoga River.

As volunteers arrived early Saturday morning, I got my camera out and checked my settings. I felt a cool breeze whisper from the water a few yards away, so I walked down to the boardwalk for a moment of zen. In an hour the place would be crowded with Parrot Heads and the temperature on its way to 90.

I took a deep breath and snapped this photo, which depicts the West Bank—the other, non-Parrot-Head side—of the Flats.

Refreshed, I walked back up to the race registration and asked the event organizers to pose for this shot.

The ladies behind the event take a moment to pose before things get started.

Volunteers and vendors arrive in good spirits. Yes, of course there was a parrot!

Runners—in costume and not—arrived for the race as the temperature began to rise.

Margaritaville has partnered with the Parrot Head Run the last two years, hosting the after party and a acting as home base of sorts for the runners and volunteers. Oddly enough, this particular Margaritaville location didn’t exist during the first race. So, in other words, Jimmy Buffet’s bar and restaurant just appears after the first Parrot Head Run kicks off? I have to think our friend Brianne is laughing.

Pretty soon it was race time, everyone to the starting line.

Managed to catch my buddy and college band-mate, Greg, running by. How about it for Greg on the bass, everyone!

Coming in hot.

When taking event photos, I'm always looking for key moments with genuine smiles. I love this shot.

Race medals were a nice keepsake, I was a little jealous.

Cleveland photographer Dave Brown, seen above, covered most of the 5k race itself. You can see his work and more of mine on the event's Facebook Page.

Among the event's raffle prizes was a framed print by yours truly, 'Keep Calm'. This tropical print is also available at my Etsy store.

The print looks pretty snazzy in that natural wood frame.

A costume contest closed out the race at Margaritaville.

Great summertime fun in the Cleveland Flats.

Check out the Parrot Head Run for more photos, and if you’re in Cleveland next July, join the fin...uh, I mean fun.

Please take a moment to join the email list here for more photo adventures.

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