COVID-19 vaccines to be offered at Laurel Hill Arts Fest

Okaloosa County Health Dept. reaches out to North Okaloosa County

Brian Hughes | Special to the News Bulletin/USA TODAY NETWORK

LAUREL HILL — The annual Laurel Hill Arts and Heritage festival is a real shot in the arm for North Okaloosa — and surrounding counties — residents looking for a pleasant afternoon full of local music, art and food at a small-town festival.

This Saturday, the “shot in the arm” metaphor will become a reality.

“We spoke with the county health folks and they’ve agreed to come up and offer COVID-19 vaccines during our festival,” said the Rev. Mark Broadhead, pastor of the festival’s host Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church, noting the shots are free.

Getting vaccines to more rural communities has been a challenge throughout the country, leading to the populations of small towns, villages and farms — which perfectly describes Okaloosa County north of Crestview — having a lower percentage of vaccinated residents.

“We’ll be offering two types of vaccines in Laurel Hill,” said Okaloosa Health Department Senior Nurse Suzy Clemons, RN. “We’ll have the Pfizer two-shot vaccine for kids 12 to 18, and the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine for anyone 18 and older.”

When it’s time for the second dose of Pfizer, Clemons said people can go to the county health department’s Crestview location, 810 E. James Lee Blvd., on June 22 or 29. 

Vaccination hours are 8-11 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. Friday, June 25, for which no appointment is needed. Appointments and walk-in shots are also available at the Fort Walton Beach location.

Okaloosa County officials will offer COVID-19 immunizations at the upcoming Laurel Hill Arts Festival this Saturday, June 5.

Arts, food, music and K9s

With 18 confirmed exhibitors, including artists, photographers, dimensional and fabric artists and cottage foods; seven community and heritage organizations; five food vendors; three bands; and the Crestview Police Department K9 Division demonstrating their four-legged officers’ amazing skills, the festival has surpassed the scope of its original — but rained-out — April date.

Heritage and community organizations include the Baker Block Museum, Boy Scout Troop 773, the Crestview Area Sister City Program, and members of the Walton Guard Civil War re-enactors group. The host church will offer plants and baked goods, with sales benefiting local missions.

The Laurel Hill Little Free Library, Little Readers Free Library and community food pantry will be the beneficiaries of a book and food drive. Canned and non-perishable food donations are also welcome.

The 10th annual Laurel Hill Arts and Heritage Festival is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at the spacious yard of the historic Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church, 8115 Fourth St. Parking is at the track on the corner of Fourth Street and Park Place. Admission is free.

Art, crafts and cottage industry foods are available for purchase, as are a variety of food selections including lumpia, smoked barbecue, hotdogs, and Boy Scout Cobbler made on location by the scouts of Crestview Troop 773. For information, visit the Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church Facebook page, or call 850-682-2835.