ALACHUA ‒ Interested in improving your health or the health of a loved one? If so, this Saturday head to the Community Wellness Festival. Several organizations and the City of Alachua will be bringing free health information and testing to the community at Legacy Park Amphitheater. The event also features musical entertainment, kids’ activities and onsite food trucks.

Initially organized by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs Elder Options, the event was to be focused on elder health care and organizations that provide care for them. But with the support of several churches and an increasing number of sponsors, the event has expanded to include a diversity of health information and testing.

“It was decided to expand the scope of the event and turn it into a festival for the community,” said Pastor John Brown of the St. Paul AME Church, a festival sponsor.

“A lot of sponsors and organizations have volunteered their time and expertise to benefit the whole community,” said Brown. “Besides information for elders and their caregivers, there will also be Covid testing and vaccines, a blood mobile, testing for diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol.”

In addition, there will be information tables offering materials on women's health, AIDs, behavioral health, dental health and weight loss.

The festival will also feature food trucks, children's activities and three bands on the Amphitheater stage. Entertainment includes 2nd 2 None Band from Atlanta and Fast Lane and Bennie and the Band, both local Gainesville bands.

The number of organizations supporting, volunteering, or providing services has continued to grow. In addition to St. Paul AME Church, the City of Alachua, and Elder Options, St. Matthews Church and St. Luke AME Church are also involved in assisting the festival to support the community. Also contributing are several Masonic Lodges, the Alachua Chamber of Commerce, McDonald’s and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

“This came together because all of these people wanting to provide free health services to the entire community,” Brown said.

The Community Wellness Festival will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Alachua Legacy Park Multipurpose Center by the stage, which is located at 15400 Peggy Road, Alachua 32615. For more information call 386-623-5173.

#     #    #

email rcarson@