Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Oxford Celebrates Health on Community Wellness Day

picture provided by HealthyOxford
Picture provided by HealthyOxford

This coming Sunday Oxonians will learn healthy eating recipes, free health screenings and chair massages and enjoy a bike ride or a family walk/run all in celebration of Community Wellness Day.

The healthy fun starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Sunday, all in the Oxford Square. Community Wellness Day is Healthy Oxford’s first event, and Healthy Oxford is an initiative supported by Rebel Well in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation and Baptist Memorial Hospital of North Mississippi.

Wendy Carmean, Rebel Well project coordinator said, “We hope it’s the kickoff for a long-term community wellness awareness initiative. We hope to have a couple of wellness events over the summer that will be geared toward nutrition education and children.” She mentioned that Community Wellness Day events are popular in other towns with similar populations to Oxford.

Carmean said Rebel Well worked with the marketing team at Baptist Hospital to brainstorm this idea. The events on the day ranges from Health-Fair type events to an afternoon of physical activity.

She said, “We tried to blend the components that would highlight physical activity and nutrition and put an Oxford spin to it. Everyone in the community we approached has been so generous with their time, resources and expertise as we planned the event. It should be a fun, educational afternoon for those in the community who wish to attend.”

Community Wellness Day begins at 2 p.m. with the children’s bike ride and family walk/run. Oxford Bicycle Company will run a safety check station alongside Oxford police officers providing bicycle safety tips.

First 100 children to arrive will get a free t-shirt as well as free hula hoops and jump ropes on a first-come, first-serve basis. Family cookbooks will be provided full of healthy and kid-approved recipes. The wellness resources attending will be giving away door prizes also.

After working up a sweat the Oxonians can get a cool bottle of water and attend Oxford Chef Meal Makeover where they’ll learn healthy recipes from local chefs with samples to try out. The chefs are City Grocery Restaurant Group’s Vishwesh Bhatt and Dwayne Ingraham, Woodson Ridge Farm’s Elizabeth Heiskill along with chefs from My Michelle’s and Proud Larry’s.

Children can compete with packing creative and nutritious lunches in the Healthy Lunch Box Competition with prizes including a free week of day camp at Camp Hopewell this summer. The first 75 entries will win participation prizes.

There is also another food competition but for adults: Healthy Home-Cooked Dish Contest where participants enter their home-made meals. The criteria holds the dishes must be easy and nutritious with bonus points for local ingredients. The prizes for that include a Rebel Body Fitness gym membership complete with personal training sessions and athletic gear, and also a staycation at the Inn at Ole Miss provided with dinner on the Square, and finally a free CSA week with a cooking class with Elizabeth Heiskell. The first 50 entries will have a participation prize.

The rest of the afternoon has opportunities for blood donation, and the Match station will help donors sign up as bone marrow donors. There will also be nutrition education for children and adults and fitness demonstrations. There will be free chair massages and free health screenings. The busy day will wrap up with a community bike ride leaving the Square at 5 p.m.

Joni Roberson, director of marketing for Baptist Memorial Hospital of North Mississippi, said, “Our goal is to showcase that it can be very fun to live healthy and well, especially when doing it as a family or community. This is one of the biggest events that we have done and we have received so much great feedback. We hope to make this event not only one to remember, but one that actually makes a difference.”

This event is free and open to residents in Oxford and Lafayette County. For more information, and downloading contest entry forms, visit To keep updated like its page on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

Callie Daniels is a staff reporter/writer for She can be reached at

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