Lawrence gets active at S.A.L.S.A. Festival
by Jessica Valeriani, Eagle Tribune
While many people spent their Saturday catching up on sleep after a long week or lounging outside in the sun, Lawrence residents got active at the sixth annual S.A.L.S.A. (Supporting Active LifeStyles for All) Festival.
The formation of the festival, which encourages families to live a healthy and active lifestyle, stems from a report released by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or DESE, in 2010.
Elecia Miller, coordinator of the Mayor’s Health Task Force, said the report showed alarming statistics, regarding the number of obese children, in Lawrence. Another report later released by DESE showed high numbers of adult obesity in the city, too.
“The numbers were alarming, and we were like ‘how are we going to get the community to figure out how they will move, and if they will move?’” said Miller.
The report prompted members of the task force to hold community conversations and team up with other nonprofits and government organizations to form the S.A.L.S.A. Festival. The sixth annual festival was held Saturday at the Riverfront Park.
With a goal of getting people active in a fun way, the festival has become a combination of popular summer events such as Groundwork Lawrence’s Kite Festival, Lawrence Public Schools’ Summer Meals Program Kickoff, and the Mayor’s Health Task Force’s Family Fun and Fitness Day.