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YMCA festival is Saturday
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Forsyth County News

When children and parents are finished running laps around the Vickery neighborhood Saturday, they can stop by the third annual Healthy Kids Day festival at the YMCA.

YMCA Membership Director Kerry Carithers said this year's event will feature the mainstays of past festivals: carnival games, snacks, a moon walk and train ride. And this year will feature a special visit from a local comic book writer.

The event kicks off with a 5K Fun Run that begins at 8:30 a.m. Preregistration will continue until 15 minutes before the start of the race.

Melba Black, the YMCA's wellness director, said the race drew about 200 people last year, and they've already had more than 50 people sign up this year.

"A lot of people like to register at the last minute," Black said. "I think we'll have a good turnout this year."

Participants get a T-shirt and goodie bag. Registration fees are $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6 to 12.

First-place winners in male and female adult divisions receive a $250 spa gift package.

Carithers said children will have a good time after the race at the free Healthy Kids Day. Artist Paul Jenkins, who has helped pen comic books like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "Captain America" will stop by to share some wisdom.

But he's not the only celebrity scheduled to appear. Carithers said "Y-Bear," a costumed mascot for the organization, will make an appearance as well.

Y-Bear will be joined by real animals from the Humane Society of Forsyth County, which will have a table at the event. Humane Society volunteer Alicia Graser said the organization will bring along three dogs available for adoption.

"The dogs are always a big hit with the kids," Graser said.

Both the 5K and Healthy Kids Day are open to the community, not just YMCA volunteers.

"We open our doors to everybody," Carithers said. "Anybody who wants to have a good time can come."

For more information, call (770) 888-2788, or go online at