After a year’s absence due to Covid-19, the annual Health Wellness & Lifestyle Expo is coming back to Stamford. And while the threat of Covid has yet to fully abate, this year’s event — scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12 at Harbor Point Boardwalk — is being conducted with public health safety as a primary goal.
“We’re really excited that the event is outdoors, which makes it much more accessible for people, given everything that’s going on with Covid-19 and the Delta variant,” said Tammi Ketler, owner of TMK Event Marketing, the producer of the expo. “We’re expecting probably around 2,500 people a day, for a total of 5,000 people for the weekend.”
Attendees at the expo, which is presented in partnership with Stamford Health for its 10th iteration, are encouraged to be vaccinated. As of this writing, the event does not have a mask mandate, although Ketler acknowledged that “if guidelines adjust, we will be following all Covid-19 guidelines by the state and by the city of Stanford and by BLT Harbor Point.”
Ketler defines the expo as an opportunity for people “to learn more about their health and how to make great choices and to be able to live healthier lives.”
This year’s event will include CPR training and blood pressure screenings performed by members of Stamford Health and Stamford EMS, free nutrition consultations and flu shots by health professionals from Grade A ShopRite’s Pharmaceutical division, and 85 exhibitors offering discounted services and products and event-only membership deals on items, including fitness equipment, healthy food and beverages and wellness-focused professional services.
“We’re super excited to have Billy Blanks Jr. return,” said Ketler, referring to the celebrity fitness personality. “He always brings so much energy and excitement to the event. He’ll be teaching his dance-it-out classes both Saturday and Sunday.
“We also have yoga sponsored by Sacred Heart University, which is up on the turf area,” she said. “This is a very experiential event — we want people to experience health and wellness and to maybe try a yoga class that they have never experienced before or to try a fitness class. We have such a wide variety and it’s really exciting.”
A new addition to this year’s expo will be the work of artist Ian Sullivan, who is creating original work that pays tribute to the health care professionals, public safety officers and essential workers who did frontline duty during the pandemic.
“We are having two art murals, 20 feet by 7 feet, that will be unveiled by Mayor David Martin on Saturday morning, Sept. 11, at 11:15 a.m.,” Ketler said. “The public will have the opportunity to sign the perimeter of both art murals — one for Stanford Health, one for Grade A ShopRite — thanking them for everything they’ve done. It’s a really special opportunity for the community to come out and write notes of gratitude and appreciation of all these different art murals.”
Ketler said that one mural would go on display in the Stamford Hospital lobby while the other will be exhibited after the expo in one of the Grade A ShopRite stores.
This year’s expo also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the event will include brief ceremony observing the events of two decades ago.
“Mayor Martin will also be presiding over that ceremony and we’re very honored to have Sergeant Joe Cala Vito singing the ‘National Anthem,’” Ketler said. “He is the official singer for the Connecticut Army National Guard, and the Stamford police honor guard will be joining us for this ceremony.”
Westfair Communications, publisher of the Westchester and Fairfield County Business Journal and WAG Magazine, is a premium media sponsor for this year’s expo.