O+, that art, music, and wellness festival you’ve been hearing so much about since its inception in 2010, is coming back to Kingston this weekend. Exchanging culture for care, at the heart of the festival is an opportunity to connect artists directly with a coalition of traditional and alternative health care providers and health resources. Artists trade their talents for access to a wellness clinic, and those talents are what make up the festival. Recently expanded to bring health and wellness services to the entire community, volunteers at the festival also receive access to the clinic. And with inventive family programming, it’s a fun way to spend the weekend.
Starting it off right, there’s a parade on Friday, October 9th. Meet up at 5p at 721 Broadway to find your place in line and get in the party mood with the help of DJ E-Bomb. The parade, featuring the legendary NYC brass ensemble, The Hungry March Band, and P.O.O.K. (the Percussion Orchestra of Kingston), leaves 721 at 6p and ends at North Front and Wall Streets in uptown Kingston, O+’s main stomping grounds. “The parade is off the hook,” says Kathleen Murray, O+’s Chief Storyteller. “It’s hilarious.”
Kids can also get their feet wet with wellness at the kids’ yoga class at the Kirkland on Saturday at 2:15p and a group bike ride on Saturday leaving the YMCA at 9a and offering a bicycle-seat tour of the murals with a bbq to boot. (There’s a more challenging ride on Sunday that might also appeal to more experienced riders.)
Throughout the weekend, families can check out a variety of ongoing activities. There’s the Musical Petting Zoo at Peace Park, where music therapists curate a space to invite children to touch and play kid-friendly instruments. A Scavenger Hunt starting at Kingston Candy Bar on Wall Street tempts you and a team to embark on an absurdist's mission to explore the O+ festival with a license to be silly. HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley will host a Teddy Bear Clinic at Saturday’s Wellness EXPO+ where your favorite lovey can get a checkup. And don’t miss the Tin Roof Sessions, where some of the bands playing later in the night will perform intimate, pop-up concerts in the alleys during the day.
O+ Festival in Kingston: Friday, October 9th – Sunday, October 11th, check out the full schedule; get your all-access wristband via donation, for all the music, art, wellness classes, health expo, and family activities. What's It Worth to YO+U?