Some wearing platform shoes and others in flip flops, thousands of women browsed vendors and took advantage of services at the 12th annual CareFair on Saturday.
Held at Augusta State University's Christenberry Fieldhouse, the event featured more than 40 vendors ranging from jewelry, skin care and carpet-cleaning to robotic surgery and financial investments.
"It's my first time. My mom came a couple of years ago and had a blast, so I wanted to come," said Cathaleen Shields, of Grovetown. "I've done everything there is to do here -- everything. Even my girls are having fun."
The event took care of the whole woman, and also offered salon services such as facials, manicures, chair massages and spray tanning.
"It's a great event. Especially for women to be alerted to what kinds of screenings are needed," said Shirley Evans, who was attending for the second year. "I think it's neat that they offered physical, cosmetic and mental care. I think ladies ought to look good and then they'll feel good."
Makeup and skin care experts spread potions on the exposed skin of any willing patron, nutritionists passed out juice and vitamin samples, and fitness instructors had their specialty equipment on site for women to try out.
"It really works your legs," Chel'sea Hargrove said, getting up from the Indo Row from Ultimate Ride and Fitness. With water in its tank, the machine simulates rowing in a river.
For the adventurous, Premier Martial Arts offered hands-on demonstrations of Krav Maga self-defense moves. Black-belt student Kim Patterson acted like an attacker, and taught women how to respond.
"It's kind of weird to yell 'no' when nothing really is happening," Kiya Thurmond said. "Hopefully I won't have to ever use it. But, it's nice to know how in case I need to."
Four cooking demonstrations focused on healthy eating. Chefs from Doctors Hospital created simple dips from hummus and roasted vegetables, built better burgers from turkey and tuna, and grilled peaches and pineapples to mix with frozen yogurt.
On-site health screenings looked at bone density, cholesterol and lipid profiles, thyroid function and screened for skin cancer.
"I've been hearing from a lot of people who say they don't have insurance, and they're appreciative. There seems to be more of them this year," said Barclay Bishop, the public relations specialist for Doctors Hospital, which co-sponsored the event with The Augusta Chronicle . "And even if people have insurance, the co-pays alone for all these tests would be astronomical. So, it's a great opportunity."