If you’ve ever wanted to boast that you can run circles around your friends, Saturday’s Jolly Jester Jaunt 5K may be your best chance.

The course for the “Official 5K of Mardi Gras! Galveston,” circles the downtown Galveston Mardi Gras entertainment area four times as the crowd gathers for an afternoon of music and revelry.

“The course is both old and new,” race spokeswoman Sarah Spak said. “We did it three years ago, and are bringing it back. What’s new is that there will be live music at several points along the route.”

The race begins at 24th and Mechanic streets near the Mardi Gras arch in front of The Tremont House. Runners and walkers make a loop bounded by 20th and 25th streets, with longer sections along Mechanic and Strand streets.

An estimated 500 participants will line up for the 11 a.m. start of the Jolly Jester Jaunt. The race is family friendly.

“Strollers are permitted, though I do caution everyone that it’s not ideal for strollers because of the trolley tracks along the course,” Spak said.

Due to the crowded nature of the Mardi Gras area, pets are not permitted.

While all ages are able to participate, adults will want to bring identification in order to partake of the post-race beer. In addition to the post-race party, participants receive a technical T-shirt, a Mardi Gras medallion and free admission into the Mardi Gras entertainment area, where they can stay for concerts by Everclear and Made Monster.

Race participants also have the option of buying a Balcony Party ticket for the afternoon.

Prior to the 11 a.m. start, there will be a costume contest for race participants.

“This year, it’s going to be a tutu contest,” Spak said, with awards for the best-dressed group of runners.

Online registration closes this afternoon at 3 p.m. After that, registration will be available at packet pickup, held at Beerfoot Brewery on Feb. 2 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and at the race start Saturday morning beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Bernice Torregrossa: bernice92@aol.com

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