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Free Health and Fitness Fair this weekend at East Park in Connellsville

| Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Health and Fitness Fair will be presented this weekend by Next Evolution MMA & Fitness.

This two-day event — Saturday and Sunday at East Park in Connellsville — will feature youth and teen activities, vendors, live musical entertainment, guest speakers and more.

Admission and all events are free both days.

Opening at 9 a.m. Saturday, the fair will feature Frisbee throws, baseball throws, long-distance runs, dashes, long jump, potato sack race, pull-ups, push-ups, 4-way soccer game, 3-legged race, flag tag and tug of war.

“My wife, Dana, and I have put this together and hope to hold it every summer and make it bigger every year,” said James Moore, owner of Next Evolution MMA and Fitness. “I want to encourage all ages of youngsters to teens to attend. It is important that we get more physical education and fitness into the kids' lives.

“It seems that there is a downward spiral of less and less interest in activity by the kids and less physical education in the schools,” he said. “We want to change this so kids don't end up with health issues. We want to see them outdoors.”

Moore said they teach a class at their business for younger children, which is a mix of physical education and American history with some martial arts.

“But the emphasis is not on martial arts for the young kids. I try to make them understand that martial arts is more than just learning how to fight; it is a lifestyle. Knowing who they are and where they come from is important,” he noted.

“If any of my students, children or adults, get into an altercation outside of class that isn't self-defense, they are no longer welcome at classes. I have a zero tolerance policy for fighting other than in competition,” he added. “I don't want to see their knowledge misused to get them in trouble.”

Moore has been involved in Mixed Martial Arts for 13 years.

Saturday will feature a MMA demonstration, followed by a speaker on cyber bullying. At 2 p.m., there is a presentation “Fight Like A Girl” and then youth exercise. At 4 p.m., the Tim Litvin Band will perform.

Sunday begins with youth exercise, followed by a MMA demonstration. At 4 p.m., the band Land Mynd will perform.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, a giant water balloon fight will be held for all who participated in the weekend. The band Pencilfish will then close the program with a 5:30 p.m. performance.

Hours of the Health and Fitness Fair are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Water and Powerade will be for sale. More information is available by calling 724-963-0180 or 724-425-6028. Event page on Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/events/554828404567273/

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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