Mark Kruger knows what he would have been doing on an October Sunday afternoon a few years ago.
"I would have been on the couch with a plate of nachos watching football," said Kruger, a Dartmouth, Mass., resident who dropped 95 pounds last year on the NBC reality competition series The Biggest Loser. His team of choice is the New England Patriots, who were on TV at 4 p.m. Sunday, but "I'll be out here, because this is important," Kruger said.
"Here" was downtown Lexington during the second annual Second Sunday. The statewide event encourages Kentuckians to get off the couch, put down the nachos and go play outside. Fayette was one of 103 counties that participated.
Lexington officials said more than 5,000 people came downtown to be on foot, bikes, roller skates and blades, and other varieties of non-motorized transportation while participating in the event, which took place in an area bounded by Main and Short streets from Mill to Deweese streets.
"The bike was too big to get in the car," Tamia Johnson, 31, said explaining her 8-year-old daughter Kimora Chestnut's choice of roller skates to travel down the middle of Main Street.
Johnson said they were enticed to come out by a contest to see which school could attract the most participants in Second Sunday, but overall, she said, "This is something Lexington needs."
Participants, including Mayor Jim Newberry on his silver Schwinn, were encouraged to make the milelong trek around the festival site and see the various activities people could become involved in to get and stay healthy, from tai chi to hula hoops to road hockey.
The activities included disc golf on the grassy field that is the CentrePointe site.
"I lost nearly 30 pounds since I got back into it two years ago," James Miller, treasurer of Bluegrass Disc Golf Association said after launching a disc that sailed nearly the length of the square-block site.
Miller called disc golf a "whole-body, aerobic workout with the walking and throwing."
Dr. Richard Lofgren, vice president for health care operations at UK HealthCare, said events such as Second Sunday are important for turning around an unhealthy culture in Kentucky, which has the dubious distinctions of being No. 4 in the United States in childhood obesity and No. 2 in smoking and cancer-related deaths.
"I've been here five years, and the sickest people I have ever cared for are in Kentucky," Lofgren said. "We have to change our lifestyles."
And that means more than just coming out one Sunday a year.
Randy and Mary Gilliam were enticed to get into bicycle riding by Bike Lexington, a May event that promotes cycling. Watching dancers from the UK Donovan Scholars' Dancercise program at Main Street and Esplanade, they said they were excited to hear about plans for a monthly Second Sunday bike ride.
Phil Holoubek, president of Lexington's Real Estate Co., said the idea sprang from a ride last month from downtown to the Town Branch Trail and back. Future rides will be designed to attract attention to other bike trails.
"These will be trips from the old courthouse to various spots downtown," said Holoubek, who said the $500 to $750 cost for police escorts for the rides will be paid for by sponsors, starting with himself. "It's a good way to keep the spirit of this event going."
More Second Sunday events? That might not be good news for nachos and football.