The officials at the Walnut Valley Association have announced that this year’s Walnut Valley Festival will feature several initiatives focused on promoting health and well-being, all of them relying on partnerships with local organizations and businesses.
Festival organizers have teamed up with William Newton Hopsital’s Healthways and Nicole Thayer of Xenthay Yoga to offer morning yoga sessions during the festival. The sessions will be held September 10-15 at 7 a.m.-8 a.m., in Barn 4 near Stage 4. “The practice of yoga is very much about feeling connected, which we believe beautifully matches the spirit and energy of the Walnut Valley Festival”, said Ruth Bumgarner, Healthways Coordinator.
Walnut Valley Farmers Market has agreed to have a presence on grounds as well. Select vendors will be on grounds selling produce as well as baked goods along with other goodies. Look for their stalls on the grassy areas just to the south of the EMT Trailer at the South interior gate, midway between Pecan Grove and West Campground. Walnut Valley Farmers Market Manager Sarah Werner said, “We see this as a natural collaboration. Many of the festival goers are here for more than just the 5-official days of the Festival, and so we thought it would be nice to offer a place where they can restock on fresh veggies and other grocery items. So, we will be on grounds September 12-16 from 9 a.m. to noonish. But make sure to get to us early, because we will only be here each day until we run out of product!”
Cowley County Extension will also be offering two workshops on Festival grounds on Tuesday, September 11, prior to the start of the festival. They will make use of the 4-H stand and the program will be open to any Full Festival ticket holders:
2 p.m. – Composting 101, presented by Ag and Natural Resources Extension Agent Elizabeth Espino.
3:30 p.m. – Cheaters Cooking Class (featuring time saving methods to help prepare healthy foods), presented by Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent Becky Reid.
Both classes are free, but donations will be accepted to help cover the cost of handouts and examples.
RISE Cowley, a coalition of organizations working to make Cowley County a healthier place to live, work and play, will also be on hand with a booth on grounds at the Festival. RISE Cowley will be providing information on their initiatives, and plans to hold a drawing as well.
Offsite, the Winfield Recreation Center is again offering festival goers the chance to purchase daily passes to the Fitness Center & Shower ($5) or just a shower ($3) at the facility located at 624 College in Winfield. This year, WRC is also offering a Full Festival Pass to the Fitness Center & Shower for $25.
WVA Media Director Rex Flottman said, “Ordinarily we see up to a quarter of our ticket sales from residents of Cowley or surrounding counties, so we thought this would be a nice way to sort of look out for our own. Some of these ideas, such as yoga, came about as a result of suggestions from our festival goers. Others, such as the Cowley County Extension sessions, resulted from other organizations approaching us, and offering a program for our patrons. Whatever the origin, the WVA is happy to be working toward a healthier community with our partners in Cowley County.