Kids' Day promotes healthy, active lifestyle

Hundreds of children took part in Saturday's Rookie Run.
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Downtown Indianapolis was transformed Saturday to help kick off opening day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kids' Day is the state's largest outdoor free festival for children. This year's festival focused on staying healthy.

It was a very active day for hundreds of kids in central Indiana. For Don Swartz, it's a special opportunity to record memories of his son, Luke.

"You always want to capture the moments with your kids, re-live memories and let him see it later on," Swartz said.

Three-year-old Luke trained for this year's Rookie Run and it paid off. He finished the two-block course fast and got what he came for - a medal.

With live musical acts and support from the 500 Festival princesses, Kids' Day always draws a large crowd.

"We expect 35,000-40,000 people at Kids' Day itself. We have 2,500 rookie runners. It's a big event downtown," said Megan Bulla, 500 Festival.

There's a message in all the fun about keeping families active and for Kathryn Mudica, it was an important enough that she drove her daughter Donetella here from Terre Haute.

"To keep Donetella active. This is her first Rookie Run. She's been training and wants to run 13 miles, one-mile runs by the end of the year," Mudica said.

"You can be healthy and strong and you get older and bigger and everything," Donetella said.

A fun day for families to make healthy, active lifestyles a priority.

"Anything to keep them active and motivated to play sports or whatever he wants to do in life," said mother Kentia Navelyn.

The next 500 Festival-sponsored event will be Breakfast at the Brickyard next Saturday (May 18), from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Plaza Pavilion. Guests will enjoy a hearty Hoosier breakfast, take a lap around the famed oval in their vehicle and tour the garages, all before Pole Day qualifying later in the day.

Eyewitness News Kids' Day photos