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Inaugural Lake Tahoe Lifestyle Festival, more than just a jubilee

A new name and new partnership fashioned after health, recreation and fun; South Lake Tahoe’s inaugural Lake Tahoe Lifestyle Festival drew nearly 2,000 attendees on Saturday, September 8 to Bijou Community Park. This new festival was crafted by Barton Health and the City of South Lake Tahoe to bring children, families and individuals together for health education and non-stop excitement.

“While the kids were jumping on the trampoline, tumbling, getting their faces painted or casting their “votes,” the rest of their families were receiving free health advice and screenings by Barton medical experts,” Sue McLaughlin, Barton Health PR Coordinator said. “Throughout the years, at Barton Family Health Day, our medical professionals have found health issues that could have gone undetected for who knows how long. After the screening they are able to refer patients quickly to receive the appropriate medical attention.”

In addition to fun activities and necessary health screenings, 63 local vendors, including 10 non-profits came out to feed and educate the public.

“We had "beer goggles,” said Tahoe Turning Point’s Outpatient Supervisor and Program Coordinator, Karen Naegeli. “We asked visitors (especially teens) to put on [the goggles] and then walk in a straight line. Many parents seemed to be impressed by our booth and excited by our activity.

Naegeli also stated people, including teens, brought family and friends back to the booth to show them what it was like to wear the goggles.

“The activity really helped spread awareness of how impaired a person can get while abusing alcohol.”

The Lake Valley Fire Protection District, City of South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, California Highway Patrol and the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, joined in on the fun with fire hose demonstrations and “truck tours.”

“We loved to see all the great health related activities there were for the kids.  This was a nice touch, to supplement the health screenings that are normally offered,” South Lake Tahoe resident, Leandra Agnew said.

Her daughter, Madison (age 7), thought it was the best event she has ever been to.

“All the people … were very friendly and social,” Agnew said. “It was so wonderful to see this community spare their valuable time to help people with their health and make it so much fun for the kids. I have to say ... we will definitely be attending again!