The emphasis will be on holistic health and good old-fashioned summer fun Saturday, July 16, when Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center hosts simultaneous festivals at two downtown Niagara Falls locations.
The historic Schoellkopf Park on Pine Avenue at Portage Road will be transformed into a showcase of the visual, performing and gardening arts when Memorial joins the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center in presenting the third annual "Arts in the Park" celebration.
A few blocks away, at Legends Park on 11th Street at Whitney Avenue, Memorial will join the City of Niagara Falls and the Main Street Business & Professional Association in welcoming the Grammy Award-nominated Harvey Watkins Jr. and The Canton Spirituals to the fifth annual Good News Gospel Festival and Health Fair.
Both events will begin at noon and are being held in conjunction with the Historic Niagara Falls Garden Walk.
"When you combine "Arts in the Park" and award-winning gospel music with tours of downtown's most beautiful gardens, you can't help but have an uplifting day," said Ann Marie Tucker, Memorial's vice president for foundation and community relations. "Such events enhance emotional and spiritual health, which we know contribute to the overall health and wellness of our community."
"Arts in the Park," which will be held from noon to 5 p.m., will feature a stunning variety of demonstrations, performances and interactive exhibits including strolling musicians, pony rides, a petting zoo and children's face painting.
Nationally acclaimed landscape architect Joy Kuebler will deliver a 1 p.m. program on the redesign of Schoellkopf Park. Visit Culinary Arts Alley featuring Chef Kevin O'Connell from O'Connell's American Bistro. The event also features henna tattoo artist Kara Kumar; performances by the storyteller/musician Lorna MacDonald Czarnota; a presentation on herbs, annuals, perennials, bulbs and plant propagation by certified master gardener Carol Ann Harlos of the Herb Gardeners of the Niagara Frontier; and a presentation by Dave Bauer of Sustainable Herb Solutions.
Also, see a Native American village featuring art, music and dancing for children; see Tai Chi demonstrations, caricature sketches, a chalk walk, and live open air (plein air) painting; an adult and children's chess tournaments directed by James Ware, the founder of "Chess Beats the Streets"; and a multi-arts/multi-media lineup of exhibiting artists.
"Our partners at the NACC have again put together an exciting lineup for what promises to be a fun-filled day," said Cara Turner, special events manager for the Memorial Medical Center Foundation.
The Good News Gospel Festival and Health Fair will celebrate its fifth anniversary from noon to 6 p.m. in the new city park behind the YMCA. Joining the Canton Spirituals - winners of the Stellar, Dove and Soul Train gospel music awards - will be Tony Pittman & The Harmony Winds of Orlando, Fla., and a number of local gospel performers. Health and wellness information will be available throughout the afternoon and health screenings will be offered from noon to 3 p.m.