CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — On the morning of Saturday, June 18 hundreds of people will move their Riverbend Festival celebration from the Tennessee River to the plaza of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee where they’ll participate in the 23rd annual BlueCross Riverbend Run and Fun Walk.

Since 1983, BlueCross has sponsored the 5K Run and one-mile Fun Walk as a way to highlight the community focus of the Riverbend Festival while encouraging Tennesseans to engage in healthy activities like walking or jogging.

The 5K (3.1-mile) Run begins at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 18 at the BlueCross headquarters at 801 Pine Street. The Fun Walk follows at 8:05 a.m.

"BlueCross is proud to sponsor this race which features a diverse crowd, from world-class runners competing for money to families enjoying a vigorous walk together," said Scott Wilson, project manager for sponsorships at BlueCross. "Promoting healthy lifestyles is important to us, and this event has something for everyone."

As part of the 5K Run, awards will be distributed to individuals in gender and age categories. Cash prizes for the overall and master’s category winners will be presented that evening on the Coca-Cola stage at the Riverbend Festival.

In addition to the run, BlueCross will present awards to the youngest and oldest male and female participants in the Fun Walk, as well as the winner in the run’s wheelchair division.

Rita Fanning directs this year’s run, which is certified by USA Track and Field and coordinated by the Chattanooga Track Club.

Online registration for the run and walk can be completed now through June 15 at RiverbendFestival. Registration can also be done at the BlueCross Riverbend Run tent, located at the Riverbend Festival site June 10-17. Early registration is $11 for adults, $7 for children and seniors. Race day registration is also available at the event.

For more information on the BlueCross Riverbend Run and Fun Walk or to sign up, visit www.riverbendfestival.com.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is the state’s oldest and largest not-for-profit health plan, serving more than 2.6 million Tennesseans. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on financing affordable health care coverage and providing peace of mind for all Tennesseans. BlueCross serves its members by delivering quality health care products, services and information. For more information on BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, visit the company’s Web site at www.bcbst.com.

About Friends of the Festival

Friends of the Festival, Incorporated, is a non-profit organization that produces The Riverbend Festival, one of the top 20 festivals in the Southeast. The Riverbend Festival is a fabulous nine-day, family-oriented event filled with music, entertainment and food. The event is held in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. Visit www.riverbendfestival.com for more information.