GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of parents and children flocked to Jones Park in Gulfport Saturday to take advantage of an event that is helping families prepare for a new and healthy school year.
The lesson of the day at Barksdale Pavilion is health and wellness.
"It's a free community event where you can come with your children. See what the local businesses and organizations have to offer that you may want to take back, read with your children and then maybe go to the organization later on," said Special Events Coordinator Britanny Dyess.
Charlotte Willis from Pass Christian was headed to the splash pad at the park with her grandkids when she saw the rows of vendors set up under the pavilion.
"It has been great. All of the vendors have been very friendly. The kids enjoy getting the little trinket, and it's very informative," Willis said.
Willis says she appreciates events like this where she can get all kinds of health tips and screenings done, all under one roof. Not just for herself, but for the children too.
Willis wasn't the only one.
"You don't see this anymore. I mean, it's a good thing," Kenneth Bradley said.
As families made their way around the pavilion to gather health information, the children were able to get school supplies.
"You have to visit seven different vendor stations, and they sign off on your form. Then you get a free drawstring backpack, along with a binder, an eraser and a pen or pencil," Dyess said.
"It's great to be able to help the parents. Some of them aren't as fortunate as others. So, this is a great thing to do for them, and help the children get the things that they need to further their education," Rosalyn Bradley said.
Dyess said as long as the city can provide this service for the public free of charge, they will come back even bigger and better for the next annual event.
This was the third annual health and wellness fair the city of Gulfport has hosted.