Come On Out and Play All Day at the 2008 Life is good® Festival on Boston Common

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From seed spitting and Double Dutch to soccer kicks, tug-o'-wars and football flings, it's an invitation to free family fun and healthy play at the 2008 Life is good Festival to be held on Boston Common on Saturday, July 19th. Thousands are expected to grab a big slice of summer fun as Life is good celebrates the sunny season with great live music, classic backyard food, and a colorful mix-of good time games and activities for adults and children alike.

From seed spitting and Double Dutch to soccer kicks, tug-o'-wars and football flings, it's an invitation to free family fun and healthy play at the 2008 Life is good Festival to be held on Boston Common on Saturday, July 19th. Thousands are expected to grab a big slice of summer fun as Life is good celebrates the sunny season with great live music, classic backyard food, and a colorful mix-of good time games and activities for adults and children alike. The festival, produced in partnership with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, will benefit Project Joy, a Boston-based non-profit organization whose mission is to use the healing power of play to transform children impacted by violence, poverty and loss into healthy and joyful players in the game of life.

The Life is good Festival brings the nostalgia of an old-fashioned American picnic to the heart of Boston. The classic outdoor summer bash will feature great traditional games and activities. The festival will be divided into several "villages":

  •     The Olympic Village, sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, will be the site of the 2008 World's Greatest Backyard Athlete competition.
  •     Jaketown, sponsored by Dick's Sporting Goods, features familiar games aplenty, including football, lacrosse, speed pitch, soccer kick, Frisbee toss, basketball, tug-o'-war, volleyball, and much more.
  •     Chillville, sponsored by Four Points® by Sheraton and the perfect cool-down spot between physical activities, showcases arts and crafts, face painting, and an entertaining kids stage.
  •     The Joy Zone features cooperative kids' games hosted by Project Joy, including its amazing multi-colored 50-foot parachute.

The festival will also feature classic backyard food and great live music from the Main Stage, sponsored by 93.7 MIKE FM.

"The Life is good Festival will bring an old-time festival feel to Boston Common and the city of Boston. We promise an active, fun-filled day for all ages," said Bert Jacobs, Life is good co-founder and chief executive optimist. "It's a homegrown festival that rallies the good people of Boston around a great cause, and every dollar raised will be donated to Project Joy so it can bring its healing work to kids in need."    

The festival's largest source of fundraising is also a perennial crowd favorite: more than 100 local "athletes" will compete for the coveted title of World's Greatest Backyard Athlete. A pledge-driven competition sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, this friendly, low-key contest features men and women smiling their way through a number of non-traditional events, including Frisbee toss, bocce, watermelon seed spitting, and Wiffle Ball Homerun Derby.

Competing athletes commit to raise at least $2,500 for Project Joy. Athletes can manage their fundraising simply and easily online. Past champions and top fundraisers have been awarded trips to Italy, Belgium, and Brazil. For more information or to sign up for the World's Greatest Backyard Athlete competition, visit the Life is good website at http://www.lifeisgood.com/festivals.

In addition, Life is good will donate 100% of its profits raised through national sales of a specially-designed Festival tee shirt, available at http://www.lifeisgood.com, to Project Joy.

"The opportunity to join hands with Life is good once again at this fantastic summer festival is an incredible opportunity to educate people on the power of play," said Steven Gross, executive director for Project Joy. "Many of us take play for granted. Yet it has amazing powers to help children who have suffered from or witnessed trauma in their lives. With the support of Life is good and all who attend this year's festival, Project Joy can help children who need it most to once again embrace their playful natures and reach their full potentials."

Sponsors for the 2008 Life is good® Festival include Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Dick's Sporting Goods, Newland Communities, SAP, Four Points® by Sheraton, Verizon Wireless, Citizens Bank, and UPS. Media sponsors include 93.7 MIKE FM, Boston.com, The Improper Bostonian, Bostoncentral.com, and Bay State Parent.

About Project Joy
Project Joy is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the healthy development of our most vulnerable children. Many of the children served by Project Joy are living in poverty and have been deeply impacted by violence, loss, and other traumatic experiences. Project Joy champions and protects the single most important activity in the life of a child -- Play. Project Joy provides teachers and childcare providers with the tools to strengthen and heal their children through play. Its unique training retreats are offered to childcare providers throughout the United States. More information can be found at http://www.projectjoy.com

About Life is good, Inc.®
Life is good®, based in Boston, MA, spreads good vibes through its colorful collection of apparel and accessories, and the contagious grin of Jake, its optimistic cultural hero. For more information on Life is good®, please visit http://www.lifeisgood.com.

About Boston Parks and Recreation Department
As caretaker of the city's open space, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD) oversees 2,200 acres of parkland, including 215 parks and playgrounds, 65 squares, urban woodlands and street trees, three active cemeteries, 16 historic burying grounds, and two golf courses. In addition to maintaining the historic integrity of such famous landmarks as Boston Common, The Public Garden, and other parks comprising Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace, the Department services and upgrades facilities ranging from neighborhood tot lots to the 527-acre Franklin Park. The Department historically has offered a wide variety of recreation programs, including sports and tournaments, special events, and concerts designed to bring people into the parks.

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