Where there is a healthier community, the benefits extend beyond to just humans, but to animals as well.

That is the simple philosophy behind the inaugural Living Well Festival, happening Saturday in Downtown Bryan.

Long Way Home Adoptables is hosting the free event from noon to 6 p.m. at North Main and 21st Street that will feature about 25 healthful vendors and community workouts that aim to help attendees feel their best selves.

"We first started doing what it sounds like -- getting vendors that offer exercise and quality food because that's what living well is to us (organizers) in our minds, but after talking to the DJ who is helping out, he suggested we expand our point of view because that may not be what being whole and fulfilled means to everyone," said Long Way Home Adoptables Director April Plemons.

In addition to the local gyms, vegetarian and vegan food vendors, there will also be art booths, a "green" home real estate agent, a music instructor, hairstylists, spa representatives, vegan beauty products, massage therapists, essential oils reps, acupuncturists and more.

"Whatever makes people and pets feel like their true selves, happy, health and whole," Plemons said.

And because the goal of the event is to also benefit animals in the community, there will also be gourmet dog treats, dog trainers and pet care products.  

Children activities will include a bounce house and music and entertainment provided by Livewire Productions. There will also be a Wiggins Watermelon Wondertent with 1,000 pounds of watermelon offering free watermelon snacks and activities, including a melon carving contest and seed spitting games.

The free workouts to the community include a casual yoga session with Yoga Pod offering an easygoing session with music and relaxing poses at noon; RAZR Fit will offer weight lifting and bodyweight exercises at 1 p.m.; Brazos Valley MMA is offering a women's self-defense class with avoidance tactics and how to fight when there are no other options at 2 p.m. and a Zumba class will be the final workout, beginning at 3 p.m.

"We will be set up in just wide open grassy lots, which is perfect because we will have more space for a community workout," Plemons said. "We'll have rotating workout sessions by different gyms and trainers who will donate an hour of their time."

The vendors participating will be the ones who will help raise money for the Long Way Home Adoptables through their vendor fees, which will be tax deductible since the rescue is a nonprofit organization. Plemons hopes the event also raises awareness about the many ways the community can help support the organization.

"We wanted to think of a way to get more people interested in animal rescue; let people know that there are so many ways to help," Plemons said.

The rescue has experienced "significant" growth since 2010, so much so that they have developed branches. Although there are several rescues in town, what appeals to the community about the rescue is that the shelter deals with animals where it's "truly their last straw," Plemons said.

"What we do is unique, we help animals with terminal illnesses, that are older, where it's maybe the end of the road," Plemons said. "We rehab them and find them forever homes. We help not only local animals but truly the most vulnerable -- that speaks to people. Aggieland really is an animal-loving town."

All proceeds for the shelter go directly toward benefitting the animals, as the shelter is run strictly by volunteers.

"We all have full-time jobs or grad school or are single parents, but we fiercely believe in unnecessary euthanasia, so 100 percent of their donations go to the animals," Plemons said. "People can get behind that."

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