ELIZABETH, NJ - The 12th Annual Fifth Ward Health Fair and Cookout at Jefferson Park this Saturday will feature free food, hayrides, health screenings, music and more.

Fifth Ward Councilman William Gallman, Jr. organized this year’s event, which will run from noon to 6 p.m.

“It’ll be a fun-filled day,” Gallman said in a phone interview today. “There’s enough entertainment there for everyone, both old and young.”

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Free blood pressure screenings will be offered by nurses from the city’s health department, he said. Other services, including seminars to help people quit smoking will be on hand, and Habitat for Humanity will also be there to discuss affordable housing.

Hayrides will be open to all ages, the councilman said, and will go around the perimeter of Jefferson Park. Face painting, a petting zoo and pony rides will be on tap for children too.

The Elizabeth Fire Department will bring the jaws of life to demonstrate how they rescue people from cars and will have an engine available for children to view. The police department will also be there to hand out giveaways, Gallman added.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey burgers and veggie burgers will be available for free, Gallman said.

In previous years, up to 2,000 people have come out to the event throughout the course of the day, the councilman said. There has never once been bad weather, Gallman added. 

There will be no rain date for the event this year, but the councilman said he’s a “praying man” who has so far been “blessed” to not have rain on the day of the event.

This year, the councilman said he teamed up with local sponsors, including Barcode and the Lobby Restaurant/Sports Bar, to put on the fair. 

“When I first started this I came back with the idea of trying to give back to the community,” Gallman said. “I think any politician, no matter who they are, should not forget where they came from.”

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