This Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., the starter’s gun will signal the start of the 48th edition of New Milford Parks & Recreation’s annual eight-mile road race.

Concurrently, less ambitious runners and walkers will toe the line to kick off the 13th annual Village Fair Days 5K (3.1 miles) road race.

The field will assemble along the east side of the Village Green, with the actual starting line in front of the Village Center for the Arts.

The finish line will be on the west wide of the Green, just south of the plaza.

The races will start together a half hour earlier than the 9 a.m. starting time of recent years. The eight-mile race had originated in 1968 as an early-afternoon event, then switched to 9:30 a.m. before settling for decades at 9 a.m.

The eight-miler, often featuring some of the area’s best runners, as well as occasional international standouts, and known as the state’s third oldest road race, will feature a different course due to bridge work in Merryvall.

The altered course will take the field north along the Village Green, west on Bennitt Street to Housatonic Avenue, then past the usual turn onto Aspetuck Ridge Road to instead head northward along Housatonic and then Boardman Road to River Road. The runners will head north for half a mile along River Road, then reverse course southward to Housatonic Avenue, continuing south until making a left turn on Aspetuck Ridge Road.

The field will then turn east on Wells Road and north on Wellsville Avenue to the bottom of Canterbury Hill for that familiar, arduous climb, before heading down Aspetuck Avenue to finish along the Village Green.

The five-kilometer course will remain the same.

The races will be co-hosted by New Milford Parks & Recreation and The Greater New Milford Spectrum, with co-sponsorships from other area businesses.

For registration, visit .

For more information, call the Parks & Recreation office at 860-355-6050.