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This year's Valley Walk and Roll Festival launches on May 15 with plenty of healthy, environmental activities for all ages. Three years ago, the inaugural festival was organized as a collaboration among the Mad River Valley Health Center, Mad River Path and Safe Routes to School to promote healthy activity and alternative transportation in the community in conjunction with National Bike to School/Bike to Work week. This year's Festival continues with the most popular events and adds a new "Way To Go!" event to the collaboration.

As part of the festival, a Bike and Trike sale will be held on Saturday, May 15, at the Waitsfield Elementary School. People can sell or buy a used bike in time to participate in the Valley Walk and Roll bicycling events. 

"Everybody needs a bike! It's a great way to combine fun and healthy activity that will last a lifetime," says Sue Frechette, MRVHC president. The group Moms on Bikes hosts a women's mountain bike ride on Wednesday, May 15. Mad Birders will lead a walk on the village path and the Mad River Riders will offer different bicycle rides including a special beginner ride on Thursday, May 20. 

Also on May 20 is the chamber mixer for the Mad River Path Association.

"We're so fortunate to have access to the path which is such a wonderful resource in our community," said Mad River Path Association president Laura Brines.

Friday, May 21, is Bike to Work and Bike to School Day. Bike to the Farmers' Market on Saturday, May 22, for free goodies and consider joining the Byways/Foodbank ride. Details on these and more events as they are scheduled are available at www.valleywalkandroll.com.

New this year is the weeklong Way to Go! commuter challenge. Anyone interested in walking, biking or other healthier, more earth-friendly and less expensive alternatives to driving alone can register and be entered into a drawing to win prizes. Online registration is available at www.waytogovt.org and registration will be available at the Bike and Trike Sale on May 15.

"Our hope is to reduce Vermont's carbon footprint by 500,000 pounds during this one week alone. Everyone who participates helps Vermont reach that goal," said Tom Horn, Moretown, Way To Go! organizer.

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