Bloomsday and Free Speech
At Bloomsday, we pride ourselves in creating a spectacular experience for our participants on one of the most beautiful and band-filled race courses in the country. We are also lucky to have thousands of spectators, families, and friends who line the 12k course and cheer Bloomies on their way to earning the coveted Finisher’s T-shirt.
Unfortunately, some of those lining our scenic course route are not applauding. Some are demonstrating for causes or vocalizing beliefs in a way that the great majority of us find to be extremely distasteful and inappropriate for this family event. Over the past years, some of our participants have expressed to us that we should do more to remove individuals displaying offensive material on “our course.”
While Bloomsday is certainly in agreement that the race day should be free of offensive language and pictures, we do not control areas outside of the race course itself. On race day, protestors, without our approval, occupy private or public land along the course and exercise their First Amendment rights of free speech.
Bloomsday deserves to be a celebration of spring and an accomplishment to be proud of for everyone who runs or walks 7.46 miles with over 40,000 of their closest friends. Bloomsday will do everything in its power to make the race experience an outstanding one over what we control. For those activities that go beyond our course into areas that we do not govern, thank you for understanding that these activities are in no way condoned, authorized, sanctioned or permitted by the Lilac Bloomsday Association.