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June 8, 2013

County schedules day of fun for summer solstice

PLATTSBURGH — As the summer solstice approaches, area families will have an opportunity to take advantage of the longest day of the year by playing games and having all sorts of fun.

The Clinton County Health Department will be hosting the first ever Longest Day of Play on Friday, June 21, on the U.S. Oval. Field-day games, relay races, sidewalk-chalk painting and a fun run on the Terry Gordon Memorial Bike Path are just a few of the activities children and their parents can enjoy.

“We want to encourage children and their families to be more physically active,” said Karen Derusha, principal public-health educator for the Clinton County Health Department. “We liked the idea of using the summer solstice to promote physical activity all day long.”

Organizers have chosen to hold the event on the summer solstice, which literally provides the most daylight of the year.

Activities will get under way with an early yoga stretch conducted by members of the YMCA at 6:30 a.m. A Fitness for Life Walk, hosted by the Town of Plattsburgh Recreation Department, will begin at 9 a.m.

“Our goal is to provide a variety of physical-activity opportunities for all family members,” Derusha said.

“We know that obesity rates are climbing nationally, and we’re seeing it here as well,” said Suzanne LaBorde, a public-health nurse for the Clinton County Health Department. “One in three children are obese or overweight, and adults are following a similar trend.

“We talk to people about exercise and getting fit, but that doesn’t always sound like fun,” she added. “We’re hoping this event will give families an opportunity to see that exercise can be fun.”

The Clinton County Youth Bureau will host several youth-oriented activities designed specifically to be fun (while the kids happen to be exercising).

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