Texas legislators in May approved designating Canton as the walking capital of Texas and were on hand Saturday to make formal presentations to city officials and residents.
Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill — authored by Sen. Bob Deuell and sponsored by Rep. Dan Flynn — into law on June 14.
The mission to become a walking capital was drawn up by Bill Moore, an 81-year-old walking enthusiast who has ignited the endorsement of wellness in the area.
The city has long been conducive to walking, because it boasts First Monday Trade Days. City officials estimate that more than 5.4 billion steps are walked in and around Canton during the event, underscoring the need to promote the benefits of walking.
The average person attending First Monday walks at least a mile and a half while browsing the 350-acre grounds. City leaders have also established a monthly mayor's walk at Cherry Creek Park where residents are encouraged to walk regularly.
Canton also is part of Northeast Texas Public Health District's Community Transformation Program, which aims to improve the health and wellness of local communities.