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Todd Krickler
Todd Krickler
Todd Krickler's Blog

The warm temperatures may have belied the name, but hundreds of people came to Conestoga Pines Park in Lancaster PA to celebrate the return of the Fall Happy Harvest Festival. After a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, this year marked the first time the Lancaster Rec was able to reestablish this celebration since 2019. The day-long event was divided into two parts-- the first part centered around food and a beer garden, while a second late afternoon/early evening event focused on a more family-centric atmosphere. That latter portion featured events like craft making, s'more roasting, pumpkin chunkin', and a comedy magic show featuring "Papa Tater."

This was the first year that Patient First participated in this tradition. Our table was set up inside the barn, where we oversaw the craft tables for kids building fall-themed centerpieces of their homes. While the kids created, parents could come to our table and speak with us, while taking home our promotional items. Over the last few events, an increasing number of families have expressed interest in having us become their primary care physicians, and this event continued that trend.

As with many events returning from the pandemic, attendance reports were down from past years. This year saw an estimated 300 families come out for the second half of the festival. Despite the low numbers we had many productive conversations, and we look forward to seeing attendance rise as we participate in future years.

On Friday, October 21st, and Saturday, October 22nd, the campground at Codurus State Park was filled with werewolves, witches, ghouls, and all varieties of ghastly and ghostly creatures for the 2nd annual Codurus Trail of Treats. A tradition that actually began 15 years ago, this event returned in its rebranded form in the wake of the pandemic. Campers and businesses pull out all the stops, while event organizers open up the park to 6,000 ticket holders who wended their way through the grounds, filling up on Halloween fun.

This was our first time participating in this event, and it was certainly an event to remember! A non-stop wave of families streamed past our table and tent, which was not just decked out in some creepy Halloween decor, but also featured a life-sized version of the classic game "Operation," as we invited kids to play the game to win yo-yo's, planes, and hot/cold packs. In addition, every person who came by received one of our Halloween safety blinkers, which were not only a big hit with parents and kids alike, but they also looked really cool when they all were lit up in the buckets as we distributed them! Our staff got a kick out of the wide array of Halloween costumes, ranging from the cute to the terrifying.

With the park being about 25 miles from our East York center, families were familiar with our center and services. Many said they wished we would open a location closer to Hanover to serve their needs. All were grateful, however, for the work we do, and that we came out to talk with them.

This was truly a unique event that was fun for the whole family, and based on both staff and participant reaction, we look forward to participating again next year!

Be sure to scroll through all the pictures, by clicking on the arrows at the side of each photo.

It was the last crab feast of the summer for many, as they traveled to Sandy Point State Park along the west shore of the Chesapeake Bay on September 24th and 25th, for the 56th annual Maryland Seafood Festival. People from all across the Delmarva region turned out in droves to sample the wide range of culinary preparations made possible by the bounty of the bay.

As a sponsor of the festival, our Patient First tent was one of the first to greet the approximately 45,000 guests as they passed through the gates of this two day event. Our staff heard nothing but wonderful things from our former patients about the treatment they received, including more than a few who credited our staff with literally saving their lives!

In addition to the delicious array of seafood items being offered for sale, the festival featured a crab soup cookoff, several BMX stunt shows, an inflatable fun park, numerous live bands, craft vendors, and games like axe throwing and cornhole. In all, there was a little something for everyone, and we certainly look forward to being a part of next year's fun, as well!

They came by the literal busloads; more than 40,000 travelers, from as far away as upstate New York and North Carolina, all to the small Amish township of Bird-In-Hand, PA from September 16th through the 18th, all to take part in the Lancaster Hot Air Balloon Festival.

This was our second year participating in this three-day event, and the weather could not have been more idyllic for both an outdoor festival, and for ballooning. In addition to the variety of food, music and performers ranging from street magicians to appearances from Disney Princesses and heroes from the Marvel and DC universes, the highlight of each day was the ascension of over 40 hot air balloons in both the morning and evening.

In addition to our tent, which put us in contact with customers from New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania, we sponsored the festival's corn maze, and our sign was featured on one of the balloons that went up. So many people were familiar with our centers, and had 100% positive comments regarding their care, the cleanliness of our centers, and the friendly and caring attention of our staff.

This is a family-friendly, visually spectacular event that draws a large crowd spanning our entire service area. We look forward to returning as a sponsor next year!

York PA's Cousler Park typically plays host to area joggers, dog walkers, and residents out to enjoy the fresh air, its trees and fields, or maybe a game of tennis or basketball. But on Saturday, September 17th, the park played host to a wide variety of magical and fantastic beings, all taking part in this year's Enchanted Fairy Festival.

Already in its sixth year of operation, this was Patient First's first time participating in this colorful display of imagination and fantasy. A variety of vendors set up shop all along two miles of the park's winding path, which also featured a pirate's cove, a mermaid pond, an Alice in Wonderland tea party court, and a jet air gun spewing foam onto the asphalt, where kids could escape from the heat.

In addition to our usual giveaway items like band-aids, hot/cold packs, hand sanitizers and yo-yo's, at this event we set up a second table where children could come and create their own personal fairies out of popsicle sticks, fabric, and tulle. It was a huge hit! As the kids created their craft, parents stayed and talked with us about the services we provide, and their positive experiences as our patients.

Organizers say this year was their biggest year to date, with over 6,000 people coming out in a variety of amazing costumes. We certainly look forward to seeing what's in store here next year!

A gorgeous weekend and clear, cloudless skies provided a picture perfect setting for this year's Baltimore Fleet Week and Flyover event at the Inner Harbor. This marked Patient First's first year taking part in the celebration of the U.S. Navy, with a booth set up on Friday, September 9th, and Saturday, September 10th.

This event drew a wide range of tourists, given the fact of Baltimore's draw as a tourist city, the fact that the Orioles were in town playing it's division rival Boston Red Sox, and that the event drew families of Navy sailors from across the country, there to see their sons and daughters. People came to our table from as far away as Georgia, Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, and Florida, just to name a few.

The weekend itself was quite the spectacle, with a variety of planes flying overhead at various points in the day, including F-18 fighters creating sonic booms, and impressive ocean going vessels like the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and a Danish tall ship. All of our volunteers who turned out to support our sponsorship had a great time seeing the sights, and interacting with our customers, and the organizers were very helpful in meeting our needs. It was a rewarding day for everyone!

It's the unofficial sendoff to  summer, and tens of thousands of people took part in the fun at the Maryland State Fair at the Timonium Fairgrounds the weekend of September 3rd & 4th. This was Patient First's first year participating in this 141 year tradition, and by all accounts it was a resounding success!

Positioned right at the mouth of the midway, our Patient First was the first thing to greet the more than 100 thousand  who passed through the turnstiles. Fairgoers loaded their Patient First bags with hand sanitizer, band-aids, hot/cold packs, pens, post-it's, along with wooden planes and yo-yo's for the kids right out of the gate as they began their day. The event attracted patients from as far south as Fairfax, VA, and York, PA to the north. Nearly everyone who stopped by were familiar with both our brand and our services, and had wonderful things to say about our staff.

In addition to having a prime greeting spot at the entrance, Patient First was also the official sponsor of the fairground's nine permanent hand washing stations, and 11 mobile hand washing stations, scattered across the 100 acres of the property. These signs will remain at the facility throughout the year, and visible to everyone who attends the variety of events held at the fairgrounds well into 2023. We are also prominently featured on a sign above the exit to the popular 4H Exhibition Hall.

The staff and organizers at the fair couldn't have been nicer, and more accommodating, and we certainly look forward to working with them again in the future!

 

It's been a good summer for the Baltimore Orioles and their AA farm system team, the Bowie Baysox, and Patient First is proud to be a part of these two winning seasons. In addition to running the first aid center for every Baysox home game, Friday August 19th, and Friday August 26th completed our six-game showcasing events for Patient First at the games.

Not only did the Baysox entertain the crowds by winning each of their games (the first in a tense, extra innings showdown), each night was capped off with a dazzling fireworks display, and an opportunity to let kids run the bases.

Over the course of both nights, we saw hundreds of people, and gave out hundreds of promotional items, including hand sanitizer, band-aids, magnet clips, pens, paper, and the ever-popular hot/cold packs. Throughout each event, our brand awareness was strong, with every single person who stopped by not only familiar with, but a fan of the service we provide our patients. Congratulations to the Baysox as they continue their run to the playoffs, and we look forward to joining them again next season! 

AIACPA India Day

From the sights of brightly colored saris, the smell of mouth-watering curry and masala spices, and the sounds of Bollywood pop, it was a feast for the senses at the HACC campus in Harrisburg, PA for the celebration of India Day 2022. After a two year pandemic-forced hiatus, this festival returned in force, showcasing the depth and breadth of Indian history and culture, coupled this year with the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence.

Anchored by a wide variety of restaurant booths and Indian clothing vendors, the main strip of the festival was also the site of a dazzling parade, representing many of the varied ethnicities making up the Asian Indian-American community. The main stage was at the end of the parade route, featuring dance performances, singers and a student robotics exhibition. There was even a flash mob, featuring 40 participants!

This was Patient First's first year participating in this event, which was held just five miles away from our Harrisburg center, and roughly 13 miles from our Mechanicsburg center. All in all, it was a big success, bringing us in contact with more than 4,000 attendees, and an event we look forward to coming back to next year!

After rain earlier in the year forced it to be rescheduled, it truly was the Dog Days of Summer at Upper Providence Dog Park in Phoenixville, PA this past Saturday. Despite the name, the weather was perfect for this event, bringing so many people and their pets out for a morning of games, activities, and information about our four legged friends. Located between our Collegeville, Pottstown, and Devon centers, this event drew people as far away as Lancaster!

Upper Providence Township and the Spring-Ford Chamber of Commerce brought this event to the community and they did not disappoint. Along with their "fur babies," crowds of people from all over the area visited a number of vendors, as well as rescue organizations who were on site for the day. We had so many good, positive conversations during the day from those who've used our services from all across the region. We always love making those community connections!

Mother Nature was very cooperative! We experienced probably the best weather we've had for an outdoor event this summer so far-- warm, sunny, and dry. No scorching heat, and no rain! A true winner of a day, in all regards!