Upcoming “Fit Fest” to highlight Manayunk’s workout scene

Manayunk’s fitness businesses are joining ranks for the first time to promote the neighborhood’s dense exercise scene next month.

On Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., many of Manayunk’s 18 fitness-related businesses will offer free consultations and workouts in the Levering Parking Lot at Levering and Main streets.

Alicia Dietzmann of the Manayunk Development Corporation said the “Fit Fest” is the product of several brainstorming sessions held by the MDC and business owners to target residents and visitors who haven’t experienced the local fitness scene. Dietzmann noted that Juliet Sabella, owner of The Wall Cycling Studio, has been the driving voice behind getting the event off the ground. 

Sabella came up with the idea last year, when she first opened her studio on Levering Street. She sees the Fit Fest as an opportunity for people to reconsider how they invest in their fitness.

“There is only so much disposable income to go around and sometimes people are hesitant to try something out,” she explained. “What the studios in Manayunk bring to the table is personalization, expertise, and passion.”

Unlike many gyms that insist upon member contracts, Sabella and several of her colleagues operate “commitment free” workout zones so participants are not limited to a package deal. 

Merge Dance Studio, Bikram Yoga Manayunk and Awakening Pole Dance Fitness will join The Wall Cycling for 30-minute outdoor classes that Saturday. From 12:30 to 1 p.m., visitors can brush up on their Jazz/Funk and Hip Hop dance skills with Merge Dance Studio. Christa Campbell, owner and Artistic Director, says she hopes this event brings out dancers and non-dancers of all ages. 

Throughout the day, individuals and families can participate in “Walk the Wall,” a fundraiser that will benefit four of Manayunk and Roxborough’s nonprofits. In celebration of the next day’s Philly Cycling Classic, walkers will hike the celebrated Manayunk Wall, from its base at Levering and Cresson Streets to the top of Lyceum Avenue. Tickets are $20 per person ($15 in advance) and sold in family four-packs for $50 ($40 in advance).

Sunday, June 2, marks not only the Philly Cycling Classic, but also the start of Manayunk Fitness Week, which runs through Friday, June 7. For the price of a $25 punch card, individuals can sample full classes at 12 different fitness businesses. Sabella describes Fitness Week as a “Restaurant Week-esque event” during which people can “try out fitness studios for a discounted rate.”

All proceeds from Fitness Week card sales benefit Neighborhood Bike Works, a nonprofit organization which offers educational and recreational programming for urban youth.

To pre-register for Walk the Wall and to learn more about Manayunk Fitness Week, visit the event’s website

Disclosure: WHYY/NewsWorks is a media sponsor of the Manayunk Fit Fest. 

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