BRATTLEBORO -- If you happen to be looking for a hula-hoop demonstration, a barbershop chorus and a climbing wall, the Brattleboro Retreat is the place to be on Saturday.
Those are just a few items on a long, diverse list of offerings at the inaugural Wellness in Windham Health Festival scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the retreat lawn.
Organizers say they expect everyone to leave with new information about health care, fitness or nutrition. And there will be a lot more to do than just picking up pamphlets.
"We’ve encouraged all exhibitors to make their tables interactive," said Jill Terrell-Ouazzani, the Retreat’s communications and marketing coordinator.
The free event is the combined effort of the Retreat, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Grace Cottage Hospital -- Windham County’s three major health care providers.
The two hospitals had hosted separate health fairs in the past. Joining forces "has enhanced the holistic focus and quality of the festival," Brattleboro Memorial administrators said.
Andrea Seaton, planning and development vice president at Grace Cottage, said the festival "has been in the planning stages for a full year."
"We’re excited that so many other area organizations are participating in the first-annual health festival, and each is bringing their own unique, fun activity," Seaton said.
More than 50 exhibitors are expected to set up shop at the
"We’re focusing heavily on fitness and nutrition -- a lot of prevention," Terrell-Ouazzani said.
Activities and demonstrations include hula hooping with Matthew Coleman, Zumba with Heather Smith, Sahibat Belly Dancing, a cooking demonstration by Brattleboro Food Co-op and a Vermont National Guard climbing wall along with face painting and an obstacle course for kids.
Performers include Keene Cheshiremen Barbershop Chorus, New England Center for Circus Arts, Green Street Geckos and Happy Hearts Jump Rope Team.
More information is available at www.wellnessinwindham.org.
The festival will be preceded by a trail run at 10 a.m. Saturday.
"That’s roughly a mile and a half on the Retreat Trails," Terrell-Ouazzani said. "It should be a lot of fun."
Like the festival, the run is free. Registration is from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. on the retreat’s front lawn, which also serves as the start and finish lines.
Parking for the run and festival is available at the retreat. But Terrell-Ouazzani said it would be helpful if some attendees left their cars at other, nearby locations.
"For those who are physically able, we are encouraging them to park downtown and walk to the Retreat," she said.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.