‘Margarita Madness 5K’ in GR shut down, 2 arrested

Grand Rapids

 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids officers arrested two people associated with the Margarita Madness 5K event at Riverside Park Saturday afternoon.

The race was advertised as being a lighthearted event where participants would receive a margarita at the finish line. Similar events have been hosted in several other cities.

Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Dan Adams told News 8 officers shut down the event after learning alcohol was being illegally served and sold.  

According to Adams, event organizers were denied a liquor license by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. 

Police say a person associated with the event was arrested for the liquor violation, and another person was arrested for trying to interfere with the first arrest.  

Officers allowed runners to finish the race but shut down the after-party just as it was starting.  

Runners snapped photos of police raiding the park.

One participant, who asked not to be named, told News 8 it looked as if it were planned.  

A contributed photo of police at the Margarita Madness 5K in Grand Rapids on Aug. 24, 2019. (Courtesy Michael Reygaert)
A contributed photo of police at the Margarita Madness 5K in Grand Rapids on Aug. 24, 2019. (Courtesy Michael Reygaert)

“(Police) were searching everything that was behind the tents,” the participant said. “They actually drove up in Budget cars or trucks, so they were actually undercover, and they went and kind of bombarded them at 5 o’clock once the race started.” 

Many of the runners and staff members hired to work the event feel cheated by the company.  

Timothy Kelly was hired to work the event after responding to a listing on Craigslist. 

“Most of the workers who came out aren’t getting paid,” Kelly said. “They were supposed to get paid like $15 an hour.” 

Margarita Madness 5K Run/Walk has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau. 

The BBB website lists 44 complaints filed against the business.  

News 8 reached out to Margarita Madness organizers for comment but haven’t received a response. 

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