The debut of the first ever Wellness in Windham Health Festival was on September 22, 2012, from 11 AM to 2 PM on the grounds of the Brattleboro Retreat. The fair was a collaborative effort between BMH, Grace Cottage Hospital and the Brattleboro Retreat. Planning for this collaborative event began in February 2012. The planning, weather, exhibitors and the wonderful volunteers before, during and after the Festival all contributed to the success!
Over 50 exhibitors participated and hundreds of people attended the Festival. The mission was to showcase many of the health options available within our communities, including nutrition and exercise for people of all ages. Many local organizations geared to maintaining health and treating problems were available to describe their services, and some offered samples or participatory activities. Screenings were offered at the Festival and lab vouchers were given out for use the following week at BMH and Grace Cottage labs. Some of the demonstrations included belly-dancing, circus arts, chair exercising for seniors, hula hooping, jump roping, and Zumba. Children were treated to elaborate face painting, an obstacle course and also had a chance to scale the huge climbing wall furnished by the Vermont National Guard. A Fun Trail Run was held just prior to the Festival, on the Retreat trails. The Health Festival was closed by the Keene Cheshiremen Barbershop Chorus.