Hundreds participated in exercise classes and childrens’ activities and took advantage of giveaways including free bike helmets
[Bel Air, Maryland] October 2, 2014 – Healthy Harford, a coalition of local government agencies, businesses, non-profits and citizens dedicated to making Harford County the healthiest community in Maryland, hosted the 4th annual Healthy Harford Day on Saturday, September 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. under beautiful, sunny skies. The event brought more than 1,500 visitors to downtown Bel Air, a record crowd that reflects Harford County residents’ growing interest in healthy lifestyles.
The event has grown in attendance since its inception in 2010. The increase in turnout expected for this year’s event, as well as a significant increase in interested local businesses and services, prompted organizers to move to a new, larger location at 119 South Hays Street, add a second performance stage and extend the event’s hours so visitors had the opportunity to fully engage with and participate in all the options the event had to offer.
Among the many free exercise classes offered during the day were Zumba and Kick Boxing from the Y of Central Maryland, Latin Zumba led by Juan Alzamora from Bel Air Zumba, Stroller Strides, Streetwise Self Defense, Holy Yoga, BeachBee Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga, Boot Camps by Kelly and Xtend Barre. In addition, families had a chance to learn about community health services from professionals with the Harford County Public Schools Nutrition Department, Pediatric Partners Pediatricians, Gold Medal Physical Therapy, Advanced Eye Care, Maryland Spine Institute, Harford County Health Department and the Kaufman Cancer Center among others.
Also featured were a healthy plant-based cooking demonstration by Jim Gerity from Healthy Cooking with Jim, a Hands Only CPR class from the Havre de Grace Ambulance Corp and UM Upper Chesapeake Health, a performance by Ryan School of Irish Dance, free massages courtesy of Massage Heights, health screenings from the UM Upper Chesapeake HealthLink and free finger printing for kids ID’s by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. Other childrens’ activities included face painting by Exploration Art School and a moon bounce as highlights. To complete the experience, a variety of giveaways were available, such as bike helmets courtesy of the Greg Krause Memorial Helmet Fund and The Bike Shop of Bel Air, pedestrian safety backpacks from the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and more.
Local “celebrities” who turned out for Healthy Harford Day this year included Town of Bel Air Mayor Dr. Rob Reier; Health Officer Susan Kelly; Deputy Health Officer Dr. Russ Moy; UM Upper Chesapeake Health Director of Community Health Improvement Vickie Bands; and Master of Ceremonies Tracy Hart from WAMD. Also on hand to greet guests were the mascots for the Ironbirds, the Y of Central Maryland, Harford County Public Library and the U.S. Taekwondo Academy.
Commenting on the enthusiastic crowd and the overall success of Healthy Harford Day 2014, Health Promotion Specialist Bari Klein said, “We are thrilled that this year’s event introduced so many people to the interesting and diverse resources Harford County offers to support healthy lifestyles. We hope that everyone who came enjoyed a fun, family-friendly day full of activity, and we look forward to an even bigger celebration for Healthy Harford Day 2015.”
Klein added, “This event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors, volunteers, and the Healthy Harford Team. A special thanks to our 2014 sponsors: University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health; Harford County Health Department; Harford County Government; Harford Community College; Harford County Public Library; Klein’s Shoprite; Harford’s Heart; MidAtlantic Dairy Association; APGFCU; Harford Style Magazine; Advanced Eye Care; BeachBee Yoga and Stand Up Paddle Board; The Bike Shop of Bel Air; Gold Medal Physical Therapy; CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield and WAMD 970am. A special thanks also to Brooms Bloom Dairy for donating the stage for the event.”
For more information and tips on healthy living in Harford County, follow Healthy Harford on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.
About Healthy Harford (http://www.healthyharford.org/)
Healthy Harford is the Healthy Communities Initiative of Harford County. A non-profit 501c3, Healthy Harford is a coalition of local government agencies, businesses, non profits, and citizens dedicated to improving the health of Harford County residents.
Founded in 1993 by community leaders from the Harford County Health Department, Harford County Government, and UM Upper Chesapeake Health, Healthy Harford’s sole vision is to make Harford County the healthiest community in Maryland.