An estimated 300 – 400 senior early birds attended the 14th Annual Westfield Valley Fair Senior Walk April 26 at the shopping center, located at 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., partly in Santa Clara and partly in San Jose.
The eager seniors were undeterred by the 7:30 a.m. starting time, well before the mall’s 10 a.m. official opening. They entered through a side entrance, checked in, grabbed a free bag of goodies compliments of the mall, and lined up for a free breakfast.
The walk was co-hosted by San Jose Vice Mayor Chappie Jones and Council Member Dev Davis, to promote fitness for local seniors.
“The mall is the same temperature 365 days a year,” said Jones, pointing out the merits of mall walking. “It’s a clean, safe environment to walk.”
After listening to opening remarks, seniors did warm-up exercises, followed by a mall walk, bingo and a raffle. Senior resource providers were on hand with information.
“Hosting community-oriented events is part of our commitment to being part of the community,” said Scot Vallee, Vice President of Development for the Northwest for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, a global developer and operator of shopping destinations.
“This is my favorite morning of the year — seeing people happy walking and getting free stuff,” said Vallee. “This is a very safe place to walk.”
“When you walk here, people who walk at the same pace start talking. One of the byproducts of walking here is that you make a lot of friends.”
Vallee said that perhaps 200 – 250 people walk the mall daily and that the mall is always trying to encourage new walkers. A half loop is approximately a quarter of a mile. A full loop is about a half mile.
All mall doors open at 6 a.m. daily for walkers. Recommended parking is in the Monroe Garage outside of the California Pizza Kitchen entrance.
The senior walk also drew those who don’t normally walk at the mall. Shirley Bartel from San Jose walks at home but has attended 13 of the annual mall walks.
“I like walking with all the people and having the vendors. It’s a morning out,” said Bartel.
Of course, you don’t have to be a senior to enjoy an early bird mall walk.
Subscribe to Westfield Valley Fair’s email list to be notified about happenings at the mall: www.westfield.com/valleyfair/subscribe. This summer, the mall will host a book sale by Santa Clara Library.