Hy-Vee, Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative and the Iowa State Fair will team up to provide a healthy flair to this year’s fair, and it begins with Thursday’s opening ceremonies.
The festivities, usually defined by the number of fried concoctions on a stick, will begin with a rise-and-shine 6 a.m. yoga session led by Andrew Salgado, personal trainer and manager at Hy-Vee Fitness at the store on Fleur Drive in Des Moines.
Nutrition takes the stage in the Grand Concourse when Andrew Kintigh, chef at the Ankeny Hy-Vee, demonstrates a healthy on-the-go breakfast.
The opening ceremonies wrap up with Katie Moulton, certified Zumba instructor from Ankeny, leading Iowa’s largest Zumba class for an estimated 5,000 participants.
“The whole point of Zumba is that anyone can take part,” Moulton says. “It’s really easy to get caught up in the group atmosphere. Once people realize, ‘Hey, I can do this,’ they have fun.”
The goal is to highlight that the fair can be good for you.
“It’s kind of a secret that the fair has healthy options,” says Liz Cox, project manager of Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative, a privately led, public effort to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016. “The combination of Hy-Vee chefs, Hy-Vee dietitians and the Zumba instructors will show that these lifestyle choices—good nutrition and healthy activity—are available and can be enjoyed by people in all walks of life.”
WHO radio personalities Van and Bonnie will broadcast their morning show live from the Grand Concourse. Among the guests will be former Hy-Vee CEO Ric Jurgens, who was picked by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to help spearhead the healthiest state effort.
Hy-Vee dietitians and healthiest state representatives will staff an information booth in the Varied Industries Building during the fair, which runs through Aug. 19. There will be a guess-the-NuVal-score game, watermelon slices, and lots of healthy lifestyle tips and information.
The state fair “is the perfect venue to show people that you can be healthy and still have a great time,” says Anne Hytrek, dietitian at the Ankeny Hy-Vee.