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Fiesta starts April 18, so now is probably a good time to gorge (at least socially, that is) on all the healthy stuff going on this very weekend.

This Saturday, April 6, winners will be crowned at the HEB Slim Down Show Down Finale taking place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The 25 contestants (including a few San Antonio area folks, which we previewed here) will show off their progress in a dramatic makeover reveal, after dedicating the last several months to a complete wellness program. Up for grabs is a $10,000 grand prize, a $5,000 award for fan favorite, and a $3,000 healthy hero winner.

Alison Spangler emotionally receives her winnings at last year’s contest finale in October. Photo by Shane Kyle.
Alison Spangler (center) recieves her winnings at last year’s contest finale in October 2012. Photo by Shane Kyle.

But wait there’s more. The event will be in conjunction with the Healthy at HEB Family Expo, a free event which features complimentary health screenings, healthy cooking demos, and appearances by Bruce Bowen and the Spurs Silver Dancers. The Expo kicks off at 10 a.m., with the Slim Down Showdown Finale starting at 1 p.m. So, finish up those migas and Big Red now, and head on down.

Speaking of migas, you and your a-migas (and amigos) should make plans now for Síclovía, which takes place this Sunday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. And what is Síclovía?

“It’s a day to play on the street,” says Monica Garza, Director of Wellness for the YMCA of Greater San Antonio. “An opportunity for people to come out and be physically active, and walk, run, bike, skate, and take part in other activities.”

Síclovía 2012
Man and skeleton enjoy a ride down Broadway during the second annual Síclovía, 2012. Photo by Alexander Gandara.

That’s due in part to the closure of Broadway from Lion’s Field all the way to Alamo Plaza, giving pedestrians (and their pets!) the right of way. Along the car-free route will be a series of Reclovias, which will feature everything from free group exercise classes, live music, places to eat, water stations and rest areas.

New this year is the addition of a BMX/Skate Park (helmets required), an active seniors area, and the opportunity to win free bikes courtesy of Safelite Autoglass, which donated 100 bikes to the cause, 20 of which will be used by Mayor’s Fitness Council Student Ambassadors to promote bike safety.

Sidewalk chalk was a very popular activity during Siclovia last year (2012).  Kids, artists, and parents decided to have some fun on the rarely closed-off roads. Photo by Alexander Gandara.
Sidewalk chalk was a very popular activity during Siclovia last year (2012). Kids, artists, and parents decided to have some fun on the rarely closed-off roads. Photo by Alexander Gandara.

But the other 80 bicycles? Those are up for grabs, so long as you fill out and return a completed entry form 15 minutes prior to the drawings, which will be held at noon and 2 p.m. And, yes, you have to be present to claim your prize.

“We’re really grateful to Safelite for this, and are excited and proud to be able to do this for the community,” says Garza. “You can come to the event walking, and leave biking.”

Those additions, along with the (projected) favorable weather, could help make this Síclovía the biggest ever. Since the first event in October 2011, attendance has tripled, and this year organizers expect up to 50,000 people, all out on the streets, playing, walking, biking, and having a good time.

In this town, where temperatures have already hit the mid 80’s, there’s nothing much cooler than that.

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Tom Trevino is a writer, artist and wellness coach based out of San Antonio. His column, “The Feed,” addresses health and fitness issues and dispense practical advice for San Antonians attempting to wade through the often-confusing diet and fitness world. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas, with training and certification from the Cooper Institute. He has a fondness for dogs, the New York Times, and anything on two wheels. When he’s not writing, training, or cooking, you can find him wandering the aisles of Central Market.

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