On Saturday, Palestine residents will celebrate a day dedicated to its famous native, Adrian Peterson, but they’ll do so in a different way from years’ past.
Instead of the annual parade, organizers are focused on health and fitness.
Vendors will offer education about common chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, balance disorders, depression, dementia, colon cancer and breast cancer.
The event also will make available health screenings, including blood pressure and cholesterol.
Carol Pegues, event organizer and relative of Peterson, said she wanted to add something that would help East Texans.
“This year, we’re stepping it up, being a little more serious,” she said. “We do this because this is important to Adrian. … He’s always pushing fitness.”
There’s no better place to have a health fair, as Anderson County is home to some of the lowest health indicators in the state.
In the most recent County Health Rankings, Anderson County ranked 190 out of 232 counties for health outcomes and 178 for health factors.
The county is, however, comparable to other East Texas rural counties, as 22 percent of the population is smokers, 34 percent of adults are obese, 26 percent are uninsured and 29 percent of residents there are not physically active.
In addition, there aren’t enough physicians, dentists and mental health providers.
But the health fair won’t be limited to Anderson County residents.
“Anything that we do for Adrian Peterson Day is not just primarily for Palestine,” Mrs. Pegues said. “It’s for everybody.”
Mrs. Pegues was unable to confirm whether Peterson would be in town for the event. Adrian Peterson Day begin in 2007 when former Palestine Mayor Carolyn Salter presented Peterson with a proclamation, naming June 2 as “Adrian Peterson Day.” Each year, a group of volunteers, under the leadership of Mrs. Pegues, organize a day of family friendly activities during the month of June in honor of Peterson.
IF YOU GO
What: Health and Fitness Fair
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Reagan Park, corner of Crockett Road and West Park Avenue in Palestine