The first-ever Gonzales Spring Health Festival welcomed a “healthy” turnout Saturday at the Gonzales Community Health Center.
An estimated 250-300 people attended the event, which hosted a wide array of different activities from free health screenings to cooking lessons to live music.
“It’s all about promoting a healthy lifestyle.” spokesperson Cynthia Green said of the fair. “ I was really pleased with the turnout.”
The fair included free health screenings — including blood pressure, glucose, vision and more — as well as free health information.
“The size of our parking lots is huge,” she said. “So we were able to provide room for lots of vendors.
Community Healthcare Centers of South Central Texas CEO Henry Salas also said he was happy with the fair’s success.
“We had a lot of people get free health screenings, which is a means of prevention of disease and ways to identify the potential need for medical care,” he said. “The event also gave people a chance to mix education with other activities in the community, where vendors brought in items not always locally available in stores. This is also a way to bring community organizations together for a common goal of improving health in the community.”
Victoria College student nurses reported that they provided over 50 blood pressure readings, with Methodist Healthcare Ministries providing glucose checks.
Other provisions came from entities such as Gonzales Noon Lion’s Club (vision screenings) andGonzales Community Health Center (body mass index measurements).
AgriLife Extension agent Janie Pineda - along with chef Lynette Jarrett - provided cooking demonstrations showing recipes and samples for vegetables.
“‘Food is Free San Marcos’ demonstrated inexpensive ways to grow your own free food,” Green added.
Other agencies provided health & safety information, games, treats and snacks such as Bluebonnet Trails MHMR, Texas Department of State Health Services, Gonzales WIC, Gonzales Master Gardeners and the Gonzales Learning & Career Center.
Green said the fair also featured various vendors selling a variety of handmade goods, skin care products, food & drinks, fresh vegetables & eggs, clothing and merchandise, used furniture and housewares and even chair massages.
“We had kids activities to keep them busy and active,” Green said. “Many of the kids and even some of the adults had the opportunity to pick and eat fresh carrots and sugar snap peas out of the WIC education garden.”
“We had wonderful live music with the debut of the Moonlit Four, also playing were Marty Martinez & Big Iron and the Tequila Black Band with a stage provided by A & S recycling,” she added. “We were also able to provide activities thanks to Wells Fargo and stayed cool with the help of GVEC’s fans. Also a thanks to our local media - the Gonzales Inquirer, Texas Thunder Radio, KCTI, the Gonzales Cannon and the Victoria Advocate - to help us get the word out about the event.”
Overall, Green reflected on the fair as a “fun community event” with support from so many agencies including the City of Gonzales and the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce.
“We plan to make this an annual event to bring together fun and health for the entire area,” she said. “[It] is a way to continue to bring our community together to be aware of their health needs and the needs of families as well as to get in some fun activities and shopping. We hope to see even more of the community come and have a fun, healthy day at future events and continue to work towards a healthier Gonzales.”