Children race in the 2017 Marilyn and Nat Golzbein Fun Run in Old Orchard Beach. COURTESY PHOTO

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Tonight kicks off a weekend of activities that promise family-friendly fun and support good causes.
The opening ceremony for the Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce’s  35th annual Beach Olympics will be held at 7 p.m. tonight at The Town Square. Live entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m.
The fun continues on Saturday with a silent auction in the square and games for children up to age 16. There will be games at Palace Playland from 10 a.m. to noon with an awards ceremony at The Square at noon. There will be competitions including an ice cream eating contest and a bubble gum blowing contest in The Square from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony.
Those who want to participate in the Beach Olympic games must get a free ID tag from the Chamber of Commerce or at the event. Games are limited to the first 50 people.
Live entertainment begins in The Square at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
The annual Beach Olympics is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Maine, and last year raised about $15,000.
Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce Director Kim Verreault said the Beach Olympics is one of her favorite events, and members readily respond to support Special Olympics.
“Our members step up to the plate every year. It’s so heartwarming to see the community come together for this incredible fundraising opportunity for Special Olympics,” said Verreault.
The 23rd annual Breakaway 5K will also be held this weekend. The race begins at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday at the corner of Walnut and East Grand and end at The Brunswick, 39 West Grand Ave. The Marilyn and Nat Golzbein Kids Fun Run will begin at The Brunswick at  9 a.m. on Saturday and finish at The Brunswick.
Those interested can register online at or at The Brunswick from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m tonight or at 6 a.m. on Saturday.
The race raises money for the MAPS scholarship fund, and currently supports 11 $1,000 local scholarships. Since its inception, MAPS has raised about $89,000 in local scholarship money, said MAPS Board of Trustees member Peter Flaherty.
The annual Breakaway 5K wouldn’t be complete without its signature T-shirt, which this year features original art work of a whale coming out of the waves over The Pier by MAPS board member Stuart Hogan.
Flaherty said he hopes to have over 300 participants for the race and fun run.
“It’s going to be a great race, ” Flaherty said. “We have all kinds of prizes.”
The cost to register for the race is $25, and $8 for the post-race breakfast at the awards ceremony at The Brunswick. A number of area businesses have donated prizes, which include admission tickets to a number of local attractions.
The cost of the children’s fun run is $20, which along with a T-shirt includes ice cream, a slice of pizza, fries and free rides at Palace Playland.
Bargain hunters can go to Edith Belle Libby Memorial Library, which is hosting its annual summer sale today and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 27 Staples St. The sale will feature used books, yard sale items and baked goods. Proceeds will benefit the library.
— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected].

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