The Apollo Theater presented its third annual community initiative focused on family wellness—Harlem Healthy Soul Festival,on Saturday.
The daylong, free event transforms the Apollo building and 126th Street behind the Theater into a fairground filled with health and educational resources, live music, and family fun. Hosted by celebrity mental health expert Dr. Jeffrey “Dr. Jeff” Gardere, who provided tips on healthy living, the event will also include live entertainment under the Apollo’s iconic marquee, a special performance set by Gospel star Erica Campbell (of the duo Mary Mary and recent gospel single “I Luh God”) on the Apollo mainstage and an appearance by Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan.
On 126th Street, there was a host of offerings including a New York Knicks sports clinic with retired Knicks players Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, John Starks, Cal Ramsey and former NY Liberty player Sue Wicks, a special presentation and autograph signing by the NY Knicks City Dancers, a tennis clinic with the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, fitness and nutrition-based cooking demonstrations, health services, a Children’s Pavilion, a farmers market featuring healthy and local produce and other interactive programming.
The Festival also offered screenings testing blood pressure, BMI, HIV, hepatitis, and other health issues. There will also be health education resources addressing some of Harlem’s most critical health concerns, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, childhood asthma and more. Clinical Psychologist and the Director of Community Affairs and Diversity at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. John M. Palmer, served as the health advisor for the Festival.