LYNNFIELD — Not even a little rain could dampen spirits at the second annual A Healthy Lynnfield Healthy Living Expo on Saturday on the Town Common.
With 50 vendors offering advice, resources and information on a variety of health, wellness and fitness activities, along with interactive activities for kids, dance performances and lots of toe-tapping music, the common was alive with enthusiasm despite the weather. The event was co-sponsored by the Wakefield Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce.
“We actually had a really wonderful event and I am very thankful for everyone who participated to make it happen today and the community that came out,” said A Healthy Lynnfield Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator Peg Sallade. “It was bigger than last year with twice as many sponsors and we had more activities for the community to participate in and we had many more community organizations who participated. And best of all, we beat the rain for the most part, so it was a great day.”
Kids’ activities included face painting, positive affirmation rock painting, balloon animals, pizza, Cool Cow ice cream, a mini soccer clinic with Soccer Shots and a scavenger hunt.
Special programming was offered from start to finish. Activities included Tai Chi with Patti Fabbri, a fitness session with The Vault, kids yoga with Keri Sloan, family entertainer Steve Blunt, senior Zumba with Alice Odachowski and a martial arts demonstration by Cervizzi’s Martial Arts Academy.
Odachowski led a large group of enthusiastic seniors in a three-song Zumba Gold demonstration. A handful of young volunteers and other attendees on the common joined in the fun, dancing to the music with huge smiles on their faces.
“They all joined in because even though Zumba Gold is a little lower level, it still attracts all ages,” Odachowski said.
She said Zumba Gold is for people who are “just getting into fitness or people coming back from an injury and it can be for seniors. We modify the class but we still have great music and a lot of fun. Music is everything. When you teach a Zumba class, you feel like it’s a big party. That’s what people always say, it’s a party.”
Odachowski teaches at several local senior centers, including the Wakefield Senior Center and the Lynnfield Senior Center. She said she has been doing Zumba for 13 years. She is originally from Lynn, where she was a teacher for 35 years, mostly at the Edward A. Sisson Elementary School in Wyoma Square. She lived in Lynnfield for 25 years before moving to New Hampshire.
Odachowski said she has loved dancing since she was a child and that before Zumba became popular, she got her fix doing aerobic dancing to stay fit.
The final demonstration was from students at Cervizzi Martial Arts who entertained the crowd with a variety of moves and techniques.
“Today we’re just demonstrating an array of things we do within the class including some forms, some combinations and some weapons defense and then basics that we do in every class,” said Executive Director Diana Dustin.
“It was a great day,” said A Healthy Lynnfield President Phil Crawford. “Setup was fantastic. We had the boys hockey team here doing all the setup, so I didn’t have to do a thing. We also had some of the parents come down and help out, which we appreciate. We were actually ready to go a half an hour early, which was fantastic. We also had programming that people really enjoyed, so it was a fantastic day and a big success.”
A new twist this year was sharing the common with the annual Townscape Geraniumfest.
“That was definitely a nice addition to the expo,” Crawford said. “Other than a couple of sprinkles, it was a great day.”
Crawford gave a shout-out to the AHL team for all they did to make the day successful.
“Peg Salade, Dianna DeLeo and Lydia Sweetser did a seamless job of running this. They did a fantastic job from start to finish and I couldn’t be more proud of the group.”
Salade said she was grateful to have so many sponsors commit to the event, headlined by the chamber, Soccer Shots, Whole Foods Market, the Think of Michael Foundation and Vault Training.
Silver sponsors included Beth Israel Lahey Health, First Financial, Kelly Auto, Lynnfield Rotary, MarketStreet Lynnfield and The Savings Bank.
Bronze sponsors included Dermatology & Skin Health, Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness, Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning, Torigian Family YMCA, Wakefield Co-operative Bank and Walmart (Reading).