Area residents pulled a truck with a rope, blended smoothies with a bicycle, and climbed a wall downtown Saturday as part of the health and wellness project Open Streets Tahlequah.

A variety of health organizations and businesses were on hand to promote fitness from pet care to acupuncture. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the community turned out to enjoy time with friends and family.

One college athlete practically danced with ease as he tugged on the vehicle for the truck pull, but most people seemed to work hard at it.

Heidi Messer said she did it for the competition.

"It's something fun," said Messer. "I knew several people working down here from The Fit at NSU. Promoting healthy living is always good."

While she said it wasn't hard, she didn't expect to win based on her time, which placed her about 10 down.

Another competition involved pedaling a bicycle the slowest and still keeping balanced and moving to reach a finish line. Rory Brown made it across the finish line without losing his balance.

"This seemed cool, but it's pretty difficult to balance and get the time right," Brown said. "I've never seen a community do this before. They do so much here."

Up the street, Kristen Thomas took pictures as her daughter, Gracie, pedaled a bicycle that powered a blender to make smoothies from Oasis Health Foods. The Thomases missed last year and she wanted to make sure to bring them to this one.

"Sometimes we find ourselves going out of Tahlequah to attend these types of events, so we wanted to enjoy this event in our hometown," said Thomas.

Kaitlin Allen and Tyler McClure were mixing fruits and spinach for the blender, and helping children or adults who were unsteady on the bicycle. McClure said the event radiated good energy.

The blender bike was on loan from the Muskogee County OSU Extension Office, and Heather Winn, Cherokee County educator, was doing yoga with those waiting in line.

"Stand tall like a tree," Winn said, demonstrating with her arms over head, then adding a foot to rest on the inside of a knee. "Now lift one leg and balance."

Of the many who tried yoga with Winn were Tabius Barnwell, and his children: Josiah, 5, who liked the tree pose, and Nessie, 6, who said yoga is fun.

"This is pretty awesome," said Barnwell. "I love that this appeals to them."

Lines were steady and about 10 deep most of the time for the rock climbing, bicycle blender, and bouncy house.

Louie Glover, 7, and Audrey Cox, 7, were among those who climbed the rock wall.

"It was good, but it was scary going up," said Audrey.

Her grandmother, Londa Cox, was enjoying the morning.

"We came to check out the activities in Tahlequah, and I'm spending the day with my grandkids," said Cox. "Events like these are why we love Tahlequah."

Another climber, Luke Johnson, 8, liked everything about the event.

"I liked almost getting to the top of the rock wall," Luke said. "Going up was harder. When you go down, you let go and it takes you down slowly."

In the shade of a small tent, Jaren Johnson, 8, was doing pushups as National Guard member Matthew Hendrickson counted. Dressed in uniform, Hendrickson congratulated Jaren on his push ups.

"We're here talking about the National Guard and bringing awareness," said Hendrickson, who offices at Northeastern State University. "A survey showed 68 percent of America doesn't know what we do. We've been around since 1636 and were the first militia to protect Oklahoma."

One booth aimed to help with wellness offered ear beads. Shronn Schulke and Phyllis Spears talked about the calming and relaxing effects of Acudetox. Both cited successes stories, but Schulke said her mom was her best success.

"My mom had a brain aneurism and it has helped with her headaches," said Schulke. "I do this because it works; people respond well. You can come by the Unitarian Church on Thursdays from 4-6 to try them."

CREOKS had a booth with information and volunteers offering assistance. Site Director for Children's Services Alisha Waggoner said physical health is just as important as mental health.

"This event is good for getting the community out, and for us to let them know what resources are available," Waggoner said.

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