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Department of Cultural Affairs and Healthiest State Initiative invite Iowans to a 1K historical walking tour of Iowa State Fairgrounds on Thursday

Posted August 04, 2014 in Web Exclusives

DES MOINES – A healthy serving of history will be on the menu this week when the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the Healthiest State Initiative team up to offer a walking tour of historic sites at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Iowans are invited to join leaders of the Healthiest State Initiative, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and other state officials at 8:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, for a 1K historical walking tour at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The tour is open to the public and free for fairgoers, and will be led by staff from the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of DCA. This year’s Iowa State Fair is Aug. 7-17.

“This walking tour gives Iowans an opportunity to be physically active while learning about a significant area of Iowa history,” said Mary Cownie, director of DCA and co-chair of the Healthiest State Initiative’s Lifelong Learning Work Group. “Learning opportunities like this are important because they also improve mental and emotional well-being in addition to physical fitness. This combination leads to a happier and healthier life and a more culturally vibrant Iowa. I invite all Iowans to join us for the historical walking tour on Thursday.”

“This walk is another great endorsed event of the Healthiest State Initiative,” says Terry Rich, chair of the Healthiest State Walk committee and CEO of the Iowa Lottery, sponsor of the 2014 Opening Day of the Iowa State Fair. “We’re happy to be spreading the word about endorsed events like this across the state and invite all event participants to join us in the annual Healthiest State Walk on October 8.”

Participants for Thursday’s historical walking tour are encouraged to assemble at 8 a.m. inside the Iowa State Fairgrounds’ Gate #2 at E. 30th Street and Grand Avenue. Reynolds, Cownie and Rich will offer a brief welcome near the Department of Natural Resources Building, where the tour will begin at 8:15 a.m. The tour will finish at 8:45 a.m. near the Cultural Center just in time for the 2014 State Fair opening ceremonies. Participants will receive a “History on a Stick” fan filled with facts about the historic sites to be discussed on the tour.

In addition, the State Fair will offer discounted admission 5 a.m.-noon on opening day to fairgoers who have a coupon from the Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, edition of The Des Moines Sunday Register.

The Healthiest State Initiative is a privately led public initiative intended to inspire Iowans and their communities throughout the state to improve their health and happiness. To achieve its goal, individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, not-for-profits and the public sector will unite in a community-focused effort to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation for physical, emotional and mental well-being by 2016.

In 2013, Iowa ranked as the 10th Healthiest State in the nation, an improvement over its ranking of 19th when the Initiative was announced in 2011. More information is available at

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