The Kokomo YMCA is expecting to have an alligator in the building Monday.
The cold-blooded creature will be visiting with Hedgehog Hannah, a mobile petting zoo, as one of the attractions for the YMCA’s Holiday Trimmings Challenge kickoff Heath Festival.
Tony Budenz, the YMCA’s director of marketing & communications, explained the Holiday Trimmings Challenge is an accountability program designed to keep people in shape during the holidays.
This year’s challenge will differ from past years, Budenz said.
“We’ve had really good turnouts in the past years, but it’s been a lot more structured, where we’re saying you have to complete these workouts,” Budenz said. This year, there will still be resources for people who need guidance, but there won’t be strict requirements that outline how people are supposed to exercise.
Other festival attractions for children will include a bounce house, an inflatable obstacle course in the YMCA’s pool and a superhero button-making station courtesy of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.
The festival will primarily be based on health services, though.
Community Howard Regional Health, the event’s main sponsor, will bring the CareMobile to the YMCA for onsite wellness exams, physicals and sick visits. Visitors will not need an appointment. Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo will also be at the event offering balance testing.
The Howard County Health Department will look up immunization records and schedule appointments and screenings for blood pressure.
CVS will also be at the festival to administer flu shots. Registration and insurance cards or vouchers are required to receive a shot.
Budenz said this is the first time the Kokomo YMCA has offered a health festival of this caliber.
“When it’s just a health fair, you have a certain amount of people that are coming just for that thing. But if you drag your kids along, what are they going to do? They don’t care about blood pressure,” Budenz said. “We wanted to make sure that families could have family time.”
Initially, Budenz explained, the festival was being planned as a kick-off party for Holiday Trimmings participants. But, as the organization kept planning and adding to the event, it decided to open the event to everyone in the community.
The festival will be at the downtown YMCA, 114 N. Union St., 4:30-7 p.m. Monday and is open to the public.
The 4-week Holiday Trimmings program starts Monday. YMCA members will have to pay a $15 registration fee. Nonmembers will have to pay $40, and the fee includes a month-long YMCA membership.
Participants are able to register for the challenge at the festival or online through the YMCA’s website.