Rock the Block festival promotes community health


Free vaccinations, vision tests, blood pressure checks and other medical services are available to all who attend the seventh annual Rock the Block festival at Med North Health Center on Saturday, Aug. 8.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for individuals who may not have insurance to be able to get some health screenings and find out what their quality of life is in regards to their health,” said Kevie Wilkins, Med North outreach coordinator.

Children entering kindergarten or sixth grade can receive the required immunizations during Rock the Block. HIV testing, body mass index (BMI) screenings, hearing tests, cholesterol checks and dental screenings are available to all attendees.

Throughout the festival, children will have access to a Kid Zone, which includes a bounce house, a hula hoop contest, face painting, jump rope activities and water balloons. A bike rodeo will teach children to ride a bike safely.

Various events throughout the day aim to entertain attendees while demonstrating active and safe ways to have fun. A highlight of the morning is an open-call talent show in the Kid Zone at 11 a.m. No preregistration is required.

A Zumba class takes place at noon, and dancers from local studios compete in a Latin dance contest at 1 p.m. Line dancing is scheduled for 2 p.m.

“There’ll be a stage with plenty of room to dance,” Wilkins said.

Festival-goers can also attend a motorcycle show by several groups of bikers, such as the Buffalo Riders, who will educate children about the different parts of the motorcycle.

Med North will serve a lunch of turkey burgers, veggie burgers, salad and other nutritious foods and children will receive free school supplies. Wilkins said Med North staff members have been collecting back-to-school items in a box near their cafeteria. Sponsors, such as Wells Fargo, contributed supplies as well.

Wilkins said 350 people signed in to last year’s festival, and he hopes this year’s event will be larger.

“We’re expecting over 400 this year. That’s our goal,” he said.


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