New playground equipment in front of Clark Elementary School isn’t only for students to get rid of pent-up energy, but it also could help people throughout the area get more physically fit.
With a $16,500 grant from Western Baptist Hospital, Clark Elementary School announced its fall launch of Project Fit America — a national fitness program hoping to reduce childhood obesity and promote healthy, active lifestyles.
Clark is the fifth school in the area to be awarded the hospital grant. It chose to use the money to buy playground equipment for the front of the school so that it would be open to anyone who wants to use it.
“We hope to build a lifelong commitment to our students, a lifelong love of education, and that includes physical fitness,” said Principal Steve Ybarzabal. “We also want to instill in the community the same lifelong commitment to exercise, health and fitness because that’s where our student body comes from, our community.”
Where meat meets the street
The 18th Ever Barbecue of the River starts Wednesday with “Pork Stock” and runs through the week. Thousands of people will eat thousands of pounds of pork, chicken, beef and desserts over the four-day event.
Along with a lot of food comes a lot of music with entertainment running in the afternoon and into the nights on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Barbecue on the River also is used to raise a great deal of money for charities in the area. Some 35 barbecue teams will be working to raise money for about the same number of charities.
At the end of the festival, a champion barbecue team will be named.
Downtown Paducah was treated to an unusual spectacle on Saturday, when the Dragon Boat Festival took over the riverfront.
Twenty-six teams or up to 546 people rowed their 43-foot-long boats during the races as many spectators watched from the shoreline.
The goal of the festival was to raise money for the River Discovery Center, said Julie Harris, RDC executive director. On Saturday, it was still not known how much money was raised. But with so many people spending time on the dragon boats, the festival was a hit, Harris said.
Dragon boats are used all over the world for team paddling sports. The history of dragon boats goes back more than 2,000 years as ritual for villagers who would compete against each other throughout southern China. That means that dragon boat racing may be as old as the first Olympics in ancient Greece. But modern dragon boat racing started in Hong Kong more than 35 years ago.
For competitions like Saturday’s, dragon boats generally have decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails. But those are usually removed during practices.
Making the welcome more welcoming
Martin Walker wants everyone to know that western Kentucky is a welcoming place.
Walker was repainting the “Port of Paducah Ky-Welcome” on Wednesday on the riverfront side of the flood wall at the foot of Broadway.
Starting on Tuesday, Walker volunteered his services to the city of Paducah to repaint the sign, work that he believes he would finish in a few days. Walker is the owner and operator of Executive Painting in Lone Oak.