XENIA — The Greene County Fairgrounds were bustling with activity on Tuesday, as 120 Greene County seniors converged there for the third annual SeniorPalooza festival. The event, sponsored by the Greene County Council on Aging (GCCOA), billed itself as a “fun festival for the 50 plus crowd.”
Throughout the day, those in attendance had the opportunity to stretch themselves in new ways both in body and mind. Whether it was assembling a birdhouse with a volunteer, working on a puzzle with other attendees, competing in a trivia contest or learning about ways to stay active at home, participants had plenty to keep busy with throughout the day.
“The key is seniors staying active with their minds, their hands and things like that,” said GCCOA Senior Center Liasion Tim Brickey. “Plus coming together, doing activities together.”
This year’s theme was “Under Construction.” According to GCCOA Director Karen Puterbaugh, the goal for those in attendance was not just having a good time. While that was part of the event, it was also “embracing that I can try something new,” she said. “I can put myself out there. We’re always under construction and trying to reinforce ourselves and get better, change, modify, adapt.”
The day began with a “5k Adventure,” an event where participants moved at their own pace along a trail course setup by Palooza volunteers. Forty individuals participated in the event.
Eventually the activities moved indoors to Assembly Hall, where attendees could visit various displays and activities relating to keeping both the body and mind active.
One area of the hall was dedicated to keeping the mind active through games, puzzles, Lego assembly, and birdhouse construction, which was, according to Brickey, the most popular activity at the event. The sounds of pounding hammers echoing throughout the hall most of the morning confirmed this assertion.
The other side of the hall was dedicated to six stations focused on keeping the body active through stretching, balance, low-intensity cardiovascular activities, weight training, resistance, and nutrition and hydration. Most stations had exercises or activities that participants could use at home.
After lunch, the day ended with a Jeopardy-style trivia contest featuring questions about Greene County and various other categories.
“People love to laugh, have a good time, get prizes, of course, but people are very competitive,” said Puterbaugh. “It’s nice competition, nothing too strenuous.”