Cedar Rapids Celebrates Blue Zones Designation with New BLUEhemia Rally

Cedar Rapids will celebrate becoming a Blue Zones Project demonstration site with the New BLUEhemia – Cedar Rapids Blue Zones Rally on Saturday, March 2, from 3 to 6 p.m. in Cedar Rapids’ New Bohemia neighborhood. The progressive event will start at the NewBo City Market, 1100 3rd St. SE, where Mayor Ron Corbett will kick off the festivities. Participants will enjoy a variety of free Blue Zones-inspired activities at businesses such as CSPS, Bata’s restaurant, and the Cherry Building in the New Bohemia neighborhood.

“It’s an opportunity to celebrate, have fun and learn more about the Blue Zones Project,” said Amy Thuente, Director Business Development & Marketing, Community Health Charities Iowa and member of the Power 9 committee that worked toward Cedar Rapids’ Blue Zones designation.

The family-friendly event will include ongoing cooking demonstrations led by Hy-Vee Dietitians at NewBo City Market, a friends-and-family photo booth, a variety of physical activities for all ages, and more. Participants will get their “Power 9 Passports” validated at each participating New Bohemia venue. The event will conclude with giveaways, including a bike donated by Northtowne Cycling and over $1,000 worth of gift cards and prizes. For more information, visit the Cedar Rapids Blue Zone Facebook page.

About Cedar Rapids’ Blue Zones designation

Wednesday, January 30, the Blue Zones Project named Cedar Rapids as a Blue Zones Project demonstration site, along with Marion, Iowa City, Muscatine, Oskaloosa and Sioux City. The Blue Zones Project is a collaboration between Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Healthways as part of Governor Branstad’s Healthiest State Initiative, a statewide effort to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016, as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®. The purpose of the Blue Zones Project is to help Iowans change their built environments through a community-by-community, business-by-business movement. The first four Iowa cities awarded Blue Zones designation, in May 2012, include Cedar Falls, Mason City, Spencer and Waterloo.

As a result of the Blue Zones designation, Cedar Rapids will receive assistance from national and international experts to turn Cedar Rapids into a Blue Zones Community. The Blue Zones Project is based on the book, “The Blue Zones — Lessons For Living Longer, From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest,” written by author Dan Buettner. Working with National Geographic, Mr. Buettner found “Blue Zones,” or parts of the world where people live the longest, happiest lives and identified practices in those areas other communities can follow to improve their well-being.

For more information on the Blue Zones Project, visit www.bluezonesproject.com.

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