Whitesburg KY

Dance, get healthier and eat for free at Carcassonne gathering Saturday

Chuck Johnson (center) is seen during his first appearance at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance during the late 1980s.

Chuck Johnson (center) is seen during his first appearance at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance during the late 1980s.

Square dances aren’t for squares and neither is a healthier lifestyle — especially when a free meal is involved.

That will be the message of this weekend at Carcassonne, where a square dance festival and health fair will take place at the Carcassonne Community Center on Saturday (August 20).

Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation, UK Health Care and Appalachian Regional Healthcare will be sponsoring a “Get Healthy in the Hills Health Fair” to coincide with the Carcassonne Square Dance Festival. Participants will be able to enjoy square dancing, cakewalks, dinner on the ground, and a multifocus health fair.

The Carcassonne Square Dance is known near and far as the oldest continuous square dance in the United States. The Carcassonne Community Center has sponsored the event for more than 50 years.

This year’s festival is set to be one of the largest and best. The health fair begins at 4 p.m., and the square dance, which will feature local callers and local musicians, will begin at 5 p.m. and last until 7 p.m. The cakewalks will take place during the square dance.

The Carcassonne Community Center also encourages citizens to visit and view the restored 1950s classroom that housed the Carcassonne School, which was a boarding school located in the Carcassonne area. There will also be quilters from the Carcassonne Center Quilting Group to demonstrate the nearly lost art of quilting by hand.

“Get Healthy in the Hills” will be a multi-focus health fair with numerous presenters there to offer free blood pressure checks and cholesterol checks. There will also be a number of exhibitors offering attendees information on diabetes, high blood pressure, immunizations, colonoscopy, cervical cancer screening, mammography, vascular surgeries, atherosclerotic heart disease, cardiomegaly updates and other medically related items to help keep you healthy.

The health fair will begin at 4 p.m. and will be open the entire afternoon until the end of the square dance. There will be Carcassonne Community Center and Carcassonne Square Dance T-shirts for sale, along with a free meal sponsored by the health fair, which will include a heart-healthy meal to help attendees realize the importance of proper diet and exercise to gain good health.

Other presenters will include insurance companies, medical assistance, health care related items, home medical supply companies, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, Grow Appalachia, Appalshop, and the University of Kentucky Extension Office. The presenters will be set up in tents in the Carcassonne Community Center front yard and will be open from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Local musicians will provide music during the heath fair before the square dance starts, along with local artisans with local arts and handcrafts for sale.

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