Sit down, Lexington. Throw on your Snuggie, recline in your Barcalounger and have a nice, long Mario Kart marathon.
All comers are welcome to do just that — or whatever un-activity appeals to them — during the Sedentary Parade, a tongue-in-cheek response to Lexington's recent designation as the country's laziest city in Men's Health magazine.
"Literally, bring down your lawn chairs and get comfortable," said Kathleen Martin, vice president of development for Get Healthy Lexington. The Sedentary Parade will be just that — a parade that goes nowhere and involves doing nothing, with stationary floats and non-marching bands.
The parade is the non-profit's contribution to the city's Second Sunday event on Oct. 9, which will also feature lots of healthy and fitness-related activities, including the first PTA 5K that will serve as a fund-raiser for Fayette County Public Schools.
"We really feel like this needs to be a good response to Men's Health mentioning us as the most sedentary city," said Liza Holland, president of the 16th District PTA which is organizing the 5K. She said the PTA is working to secure sponsors to cover the cost of the race and the $15 entry fee will go to the schools.
Martin said it's a way to transform bad publicity into something good.
Following the Men's Health article, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert presented Lexington with a "Golden Reacher-Grabber Award." (A reacher-grabber being pinchers on a stick for someone too lazy to, say, stand up and get the remote.)
Get Healthy Lexington, a 2-year-old non-profit that promotes small lifestyle changes that can make a big change in health, has been in contact with Men's Health and the Colbert show.
Martin said both have been invited to attend as grand marshals of the Sedentary Parade in Hoveround scooters. (Best for exerting minimal energy.) Talks are ongoing, she said.
Urban County Councilman Jay McChord said he saw potential to get people moving when Men's Health dubbed Lexington the city "where sit happens" and Colbert highlighted the designation on his show.
"When that happened I was the only guy smiling," said McChord, co-founder of Second Sunday. It was, he said, "the gas on the fire that we needed."
Second Sunday is held monthly in Lexington from April through October and encourages folks to get out and bike, roller blade or walk in unusual places. The June event drew a large crowd to explore a runway at Blue Grass Airport.
October's event will take place downtown and will maintain the traditionally active elements of Second Sunday. Other cities in Kentucky will also hold Second Sunday events on Oct. 9 to promote health and fitness.
Meanwhile, Lexington's dubious ranking has prompted groups dedicated to a healthier Lexington to start working more closely together, and many of those groups will participate in October's event.
"One of the things that I felt pretty strongly about here is that we have a lot of pieces and parts but this has really helped us to rally the troops," McChord said.
Martin said that so far about a dozen groups are now working together to showcase healthy activities in Lexington at the Second Sunday events and beyond. Several of those organizations will be meeting next week to continue coordinating their efforts.
"The Men's Health article was a gift," said McChord, who hopes that ultimately Lexington can be a national model for encouraging physical activity and overall health.
"Lexington, Kentucky, has some solutions that really impact the nation in a positive way," he said.
Reach Mary Meehan at (859) 231-3261 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3261.