Helena’s Family Fun Fest provides activities and health education for kids

Posted at 9:45 PM, Aug 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-11 23:45:43-04

More than 500 kids celebrated good health and good times in Helena Saturday morning at the annual Family Fun Fest.

This was the 15th edition of the event, organized by St. Peter’s Health and PacificSource Health Plans.

“Today was a terrific event, bringing together people who care about improving the health of our community,” said Katy Peterson, St. Peter’s director of public relations and marketing.

The day started with a fun run for kids and families around Centennial Park. Hope, Faith and Evan Gravley, ages 9, 8 and 6, were among those running.

“It’s just really fun, and I get a lot of energy out,” said Hope.

The smoke in the sky didn’t stop the fun run.

“It was a really good opportunity for us to remind our community that when it’s smoky outside, it’s time to reduce the intensity of our activities,” Peterson said. “It was a fun run, and so we encouraged folks just to take it at their own pace and enjoy the day.”

After the run, kids moved on to the Fun Fest Fair at the Great Northern Town Center. Partners provided a variety of games and activities – everything from obstacle courses and street hockey to a dunk tank.

Many of the activities came along with important information. For example, at one booth, experts demonstrated a proper helmet fitting. Peterson said more than 100 kids received free helmets.

“Our focus with this event was to put fun first,” she said. “That allows us then to have some conversations about health and wellness.”

Peterson said the event started with just a fun run around the Montana State Capitol, and that it has grown significantly in recent years.

“Kids usually bring their parents and siblings, and we end up having nearly 2,000 people here in the Town Center,” she said.

The Gravleys said there was plenty for them to enjoy at the event.

“Everything,” said Faith. “I’m just going to say everything; I enjoyed everything.”