Fun Forest Park will be the site of many events Oct. 29: a 5K run and a 1-mile walk, free Zumba and yoga lessons, a plank challenge, Halloween costume contest, health screenings, free healthy snacks and drinks, fitness demonstrations and vendors of services and products related to medicine, nutrition, fitness or wellness.

The Fit City Tyler Coalition will sponsor Fit City Day in the Park from 8 to 11 a.m.

The Smith County Medical Society Foundation will sponsor the 5K run, 1-mile walk/run and Halloween costume contest in conjunction with the event.

It will mark the first time Fun Forest Park, at the intersection of North Glenwood Boulevard and Garden Valley Road, will host a communitywide event, officials said.

Fit City Day in the Park will provide a spectrum of fitness and physical activity with options for everybody, from the super fit to people who are not physically active and need encouragement to start, said Terrence Ates, public information officer and assistant director of community outreach for the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

The coalition’s mission is to make Tyler healthier “one step, one bite and one health conscious decision at a time.” The organization brings together individuals, businesses, schools, churches, nonprofit organizations and others to promote awareness of how people can be healthy, Ates said.

The purpose of the 5K run, 1-mile walk and Halloween costume contest is to raise awareness of Tyler Family Circle of Care, said Dr. Li-Yu Mitchell, of Smith County Medical Society Foundation.

Tyler Family Circle of Care has clinics adjacent to Fun Forest Park, on North Broadway Avenue and on Houston Street that care for pediatrics, family medicine, pregnant women on Medicaid, the under-insured and the insured.

The medical society wants to highlight Tyler Family Circle of Care in an attempt to get more people going to the clinics rather than over-utilizing emergency rooms, Dr. Mitchell said.

Often, people go to emergency rooms for inappropriate reasons, such as a cold or flu, or come in for conditions that could have been caught earlier by a primary care doctor and would not have mushroomed into an emergency, Dr. Mitchell said.

The 5K run or walk will begin at 8 a.m. and the 1-mile walk at 8:15 a.m. on City Park Drive near the swimming pool at Fun Forest Park.

Many walkers and runners are expected to dress in Halloween costumes. Only people who participate in the 5K or 1-mile walk will be eligible to compete in the Halloween costume contest for children and adults. “I recommend if people are going to run or walk in costume to make sure their costume is comfortable,” Dr. Mitchell said. “It will be fun.”

For the Halloween costume contest, there will be two children’s categories and also categories for adults, teams and families. Judges will be Tyler City Council Members Darryl Bowdre, Ed Moore and Don Warren.

The race will be held rain or shine, except if there is thunder or torrential rain, and it will be chip-timed.

To register online, visit There is a $20 fee to enter the 1-mile walk and $30 to enter the 5K. But by entering the code “R4YL” upon registration, participants will receive a $10 discount, making the registration fee $10 for the walk and $20 for the 5K. People are encouraged to register early. Registration will stop at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 29.

Race packets containing the race number bib, T-shirt and goodies can be picked up at Natural Grocers on South Broadway on Oct. 27 and 28.

Everyone who signs up will receive a T-shirt. For the 5K competitive run, there will be prizes for different age groups. Everyone will get a finisher medal and there will be awards for the top finishers.

As part of Fit City Day in the Park, free yoga and Zumba lessons will be on the tennis courts. This would be an excellent time for people to try yoga and Zumba, Ates said.

The plank contest will be held to see how long a person can stay in the plank position on their elbows, hands and feet while keeping their body straight.

The event will give people an opportunity to be introduced to different exercises and activities they may not have had a chance to try, Ates said.

At exposition tables, different companies will provide samples of their services and fitness organizations will provide fitness demonstrations.

Health screenings, although availability of some will depend on the weather, will include blood pressure checks and screenings for diabetes and cholesterol.

Fit City Day in the Park is a way to raise awareness of the Fit City Tyler Coalition and what it does to bring together organizations that want to show how people can be healthier, Ates said.

“There’s something for everybody,” Ates said, noting everything except the 5K run and 1-mile run are free.

Twitter: @Betty_TMT

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