EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 5, 2014

S.A.L.S.A. health and fitness festival set for Saturday

LAWRENCE — Pemberton Park will be the site of the first S.A.L.S.A. Festival on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

S.A.L.S.A.—which stands for Supporting Active LifeStyles for All—will offer games, kite making and flying, a bike clinic and safety, BMX demos, trolley rides, volleyball, Zumba, an obstacle course, sack races, healthy snacks, door prizes, and more.

The free event combines Groundwork Lawrence’s Kite Fest & Wheel Day, the Merrimack Valley YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Mayor’s Health Task Force Family Fun & Fitness Day, Family Services of the Merrimack Valley’s Family Fiesta, BiciCocina, and the Lawrence Public School’s Summer Meals Program kickoff.

“The City of Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force and its partners are bringing together these well-known community events, and adding more fitness activities and games for one, great outdoor festival,” said Vilma Lora, Co-Director of Women’s Services at the YWCA of Greater Lawrence and Coordinator of the Mayor’s Health Task Force. “There’s something for everyone.”

The S.A.L.S.A. effort is part a multi-year commitment of the city’s Healthy Active Living Resolution. Among projects being considered or are underway, are improvements to parks and other common areas, workplace wellness programs, the Wednesday and Saturday farmers markets, improved fresh produce and food offerings at local corner stores/bodegas, and more information and demonstrations on healthy eating citywide.

“Nearly 45 percent of children and about 69 percent of adults are overweight or obese creating greater risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, and low self-esteem,” said Heather McMann, Executive Director at Groundwork Lawrence. “S.A.L.S.A. is just one way we are trying to help people focus on their physical fitness, their eating, and overall health for themselves and their families.”

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