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Local fair returns to Cranbury, bringing fun to health and wellness

Smoothies being made by students on stationary bikes for the PTO Pedal Powered Smoothies at the Health and Wellness Fair.

After being canceled the previous two years due to COVID-19, Cranbury’s Health and Wellness Fair is returning to the Cranbury School playground.

The fair is taking place on May 21 from 12-3 p.m. at the Cranbury School at 23 N. Main St. in Cranbury. The annual fair was formerly known as the Drug Free Fair, before a name change was made in 2019.

“This is the 28th year for the annual fair. I investigated and found out that the fair was actually started 30 years ago by a Boy Scout who was doing it for his Eagle Scout project,” said Joann Charwin, member of the Municipal Alliance, which sponsors the Health and Wellness Fair. “We changed the name to the Health and Wellness Fair because we really wanted to put a focus on what you can do to stay healthy and well.”

Charwin said organizers wanted to give community members many options on how they can stay healthy.

“The Municipal Alliance is thrilled to have the fair take place this year after a two-year hiatus. We tried for the last two years to put it on, but we just did not feel that it was safe at that time,” she said. “This year since the health guidelines are more relaxed and that we are allowed to use the school facilities, we decided to go ahead.”

Hand sanitizers will be available at all the tables and masks are optional for the fair.

The organizers modified the fair so that some activities were not so hands-on. One example of these modifications is the change in available activities such as henna, a temporary body art, which occurred at the fair in 2019.

“With henna we decided that it may be too much of a hands-on activity as students and families would have the temporary art painted on their hands. Instead we are doing caricatures, where student’s likeness is being drawn by a caricature artist doing their favorite activity,” Charwin said.

“Another change is that in the past we used to have an inflatable obstacle course. This year we decided to go with and inflatable mini golf course. The children will really only hold the golf club and then it will be wiped down in between other students playing.”

The fair is for residents and families and will include activities such as a Colorful Fun Run, meditation area, inflatable mini golf, PTO Pedal Powered Smoothies, Cranbury Brook Preserve hikes, fitness demonstrations and Caricatures by Gina.

“The PTO is sponsoring Pedal Powered Smoothies, where a blender is operated by a stationary bike and the students can make their own smoothies by pedaling the bike. It was extremely popular in 2019, the first year we had it, and so it is returning,” Charwin said. “Students will get to run around the soccer field at the school for the Colorful Fun Run as a way to exercise their health and wellness.”

The Girls and Boys Scouts will lead hikes through Cranbury Brook Preserve and a New Jersey State Police helicopter will visit the fair.

There will also be T-shirt distribution. A third grader won the contest and his design will be on 500 T-shirts. Students who go to six different tables to get a stamp will receive their free shirt.

“We are going to also have a Lifetime family fitness demo, meditation and compassion session, and the police officers are going to have what they call the Middlesex County Drive Program, where they bring a car that can be driven and give participants the opportunity to drive the car with or without drug impairment goggles,” Charwin said.

Charwin said she wants the fair to be a celebration of the community and health and wellness.

“I want people to come to the fair and learn some strategies that will lead to healthy eating, physical activity and positive lifestyle habits. We have been through a very tough two years with the pandemic,” she said. “A lot of people have suffered from stress, mental illness, and it has been a very difficult time. We are going to have people talk about ways to address mental health and health and wellness. I want people to know there are organizations and people out here to help.”

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