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Zucchini 500: Kannapolis kids get veggies ready to race

KANNAPOLIS ó The racers are spending hours fine-tuning their cars in preparation for the big race.
Every detail and enhancement is considered to give them an advantage on the track.
Children from the Cannon Memorial YMCA’s Summer Daycamps and the Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council are hard at work building zucchini race cars for the Zucchini 500, which takes place at the N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market in Kannapolis from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday.
The event is organized by North Carolina State University and N.C. Cooperative Extension.
A sponsor of this year’s Zucchini 500, the YMCA is playing host to the zucchini racing version of “happy hour,” where 20 or more kids are expected to get a head start on the fun.
“It’s a fun and unique event that really promotes the health and wellness of the community,” says Brett Crosby, executive director of the Cannon Memorial YMCA. “I think the kids will have a good time, enjoy being creative and become aware of different foods they may not have been exposed to before.”
Girl Scouts from the Hornets’ Nest Council in Charlotte are getting in on the action as well. Laura Prevatt, membership specialist for the council, says that Scouts will participate by building zucchini cars in advance and by volunteering at the Zucchini 500.
The Girl Scouts will also have a table at the N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market on race day.
“The Zucchini 500 is a great opportunity for our girls to learn about healthy eating choices and to get connected with the local farmers market,” says Prevatt. “Healthy living is one of the core focus areas of Girl Scouting. This event promotes a deeper understanding of making better lifestyle choices, but it is also fun.”
The Zucchini 500 is a “first for them,” adds Crosby. “A totally new experience for the kids.”
Each child who participates in the Zucchini 500 will receive a prize. Prizes include Bruster’s ice cream sundaes, a three-month YMCA membership and Summer Shootout Series tickets from Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
Preregistration is strongly encouraged. Zucchinis will be available through some N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market vendors.
For complete Zucchini 500 event details, please visit www.ncvalueadded.org.
The farmers market is located at 201 West Ave. in Kannapolis.

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