The annual Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Health and Fitness Festival will be held on the Third Street Promenade on Saturday, July 30. The festival will offer attendees an array of exercise classes to choose from, vital health screenings, education, and entertainment, all at no charge.
This year’s festival is on the same day as National Dance Day, an initiative created by the So You Think You Can Dance show’s executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe. The day aims to encourage physical activity for all ages through dance. The festival will celebrate this special day with an appearance by a former show contestant, Jeffrey ““B-Boy” McCann. His Los Angeles dance company, West Bound, will lead the audience in a routine specifically created by So You Think You Can Dance choreographers for National Dance Day; then West Bound will perform.
Other exercise classes include a workout that will be taught by P90X fitness guru Tony Horton, Zumba, boxing, martial arts, and yoga. The Jean McNeil Wyner Volunteer of the Year Award will be given to Adam Holt, of the Allan Company, on the Main Stage at 2:30 p.m.
Laurel Rosen, president of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, said the festival would be catering to those “people who are looking at how to lead a balanced life on a day-to-day basis.” This includes the multiple layers of health- -proper nutrition, exercise, and giving to the community. She also noted that the festival activities and exhibitors would reflect the recent trends in health and fitness, such as martial arts, stress reduction, and social interaction.
“Exercising has become more of a form of socializing,” said Rosen.
Harold Fedison, manager of TJ Maxx, said his store is helping sponsor the event because they carry a lot of fitness apparel and accessories at discount prices. They want the community to know that their store is located just one block off the Third Street Promenade.
Yellow Cab Company, according to a representative, decided to help sponsor because they want to unveil some of the new technology that is available in their cabs that serve Santa Monica.
“People shouldn’t drink and drive so taking a cab can help them be safe,” said Will Hebler, senior director of sales and marketing, who noted that an important aspect of health and fitness is safety. Yellow Cab also transports a lot of healthcare patients within Santa Monica.
Some new companies will also participate in the festival. One of them is Santa Monica College (SMC) Pharmacy, located at 1908 Santa Monica Boulevard. Their pharmacy technician, Annie Lim, is trying to get the word out that their pharmacy offers, “compounding- -which uses raw ingredients to create drugs to suit patient needs.” They also carry a lot of homeopathic drugs and vitamins.
Another new participant is Stella and Dot, a jewelry company which offers affordably priced sterling silver and gold-plated jewelry. Leann Levine, stylist and Santa Monica resident, said the festival is a “great way to promote local business in Santa Monica.”
Also expect a return of many of the same non-profits and businesses that have participated in the festival year after year. The CLARE Foundation, whose mission statement states that they are “a non-profit organization providing compassionate treatment and recovery services for alcoholism and substance abuse for individuals, families, and the community,” continues to participate to connect with the community. Tamara Pompey, CLARE’s communications manager, said the festival helps them connect “with an audience that is the most appropriate for us.”
Dragon Herbs, which participated in the festival last year, is exhibiting again because the festival’s mission of promoting health and wellness aligns with their mission. “ The festival helps us let people know about our products (elixirs, herbs, teas, and tonics) and how they can promote health and wellness,” stressed Tanja Zatebato, the Dragon Herbs’ project manager.
Some of the health screenings that will be offered include skin cancer, blood pressure, podiatry, and veins. More than 70 healthcare companies and non-profits will be participating.
For a full schedule of classes and more information please visit smchamber.com/healthandfitness or call 310.393.9825