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Fifth Annual Penn Fest Promotes Healthy Living, Community Spirit

Penn Fest organizers received a Blue Cross Blue Shield's Open Streets grant to make the event bigger this year.

Penn Central of Richfield's fifth annual Penn Fest celebration is Sunday, Sept. 16 and while much of the event features such as free Lund's rootbeer floats will remain intact, the celebration has been amped up to be bigger and better than ever.

Penn Fest is bigger this year because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota awarded a grant to make Penn Fest an "Open Streets" event, which is meant as a health initiative to engage people in fun activities on the street of a community.

Which means, Penn Avenue will be completely closed to vehicular traffic between 63rd and 76th streets just after 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. that Sunday.

And the annual event has been renamed, .

Activities and Fun

, members of the Penn Central of Richfield neighborhood organization have been working together to improve the Penn Avenue business district, while also fostering a stronger sense of community.

According to Penn Central founder and event organizer David Gepner, there is plenty in store for the community along the "Avenue" this year.

"The many youth groups will be gathering near 75th Street engaging in their various sporting endeavors," Gepner described. "Further up the Avenue the farmers market vendors will be displaying the pride of the fall harvest with a lyrical back drop provided my one of eight musical groups hired to perform along the 'Avenue.' Continuing north you’ll see the many crafters anxiously displaying their wares kitty-corner from another musical venue."

In addition, celebration go-ers can find:

  • Free rootbeer floats from Lund's;
  • run at 11:30 a.m. starting at ;
  • An autograph session with Bob Lurtsema and Dave Osborne at ;
  • A car show at Lerum Auto;
  • Gospel music from Faith Pentecostal Church;
  • Blue Grass music in the parking lot;
  • A balloon sculpture display at ;
  • Freestyle BMX bike shows at ;
  • Junior firefighters squirting out "house flames;"
  • A kiddie bike parade hosted by .

Of course, Richfield Patch will also be there with treats and Patch gear such as t-shirts, totes, water bottles and sunglasses. Patch will also be hosting a sort of "yard game" tournament in the streets with prizes.

Other organizations are welcome to join in the festivites. For more information on how to be a part of the celebration, go to penncentralofrichfield.com.

Richfield Patch will update readers as more information on the various activites comes in.

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Caitlin Burgess September 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM
A map and schedule of all the events for Open Streets at Penn Fest can be found here: http://patch.com/A-xKyR

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