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Seniors, get ready to have some fun

With an operational cost approaching $3,000, it’s not surprising that the Becker County Senior Fest only happens once every three years or so.

“It costs us $2,900, so it takes our treasury time to recuperate after each event,” said Karen Lenius, the Becker County Coordinator on Aging, who is also one of the people responsible for planning the Senior Fest — a cooperative project of the Becker County Senior Network and Becker County Council on Aging.

The 2014 incarnation of the Becker County Senior Fest is set to take place this Thursday, June 19, at the Detroit Lakes Pavilion.

“We’re opening the doors at 10 a.m., and hoping it will wind down by 3:30 p.m.,” Lenius said.

The $3 admission fee is “all inclusive,” she added, which means that ticketed guests can enjoy a catered picnic lunch, root beer floats and door prizes as well as learning from a range of educational speakers and vendor booths.

At the end of the festivities, they can even enjoy a pontoon ride around the lake, or just relax and listen to the music of local entertainer Hank Reitan.

The vendor booths, which open at 10 a.m., will include information on a wide variety of senior programs and services.

Then, at 11 a.m., guests will be introduced to several area politicians in attendance, and have an opportunity to speak with them one-on-one about any concerns or questions they may have.

At 11:30 a.m., there will be a recognition ceremony for this year’s Becker County Outstanding Senior Citizen nominees, where they will be introduced to the public for the first time.

“We want to keep it a surprise,” Lenius said, adding that there will be “at least” four nominees this year, with a few more possibly being added at the last minute.

“The committee will review the applications in July, with the winners being announced during Senior Day at the Becker County Fair,” she added — a tradition that has existed since the awards program honoring the county’s senior volunteers was first introduced in 1973.

The Outstanding Senior Recognition ceremony will include a brief introduction of each nominee and their achievements, Lenius said.

This will be followed by “a nice picnic lunch” featuring turkey sandwiches and other light fare, she added.

Starting at 1 p.m., guests can listen to a series of three educational sessions, including a program on essential oils and their various health benefits; a presentation on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders by an expert from the Alzheimer’s Association; and a presentation on emergency preparedness and the Becker County Code Red Alert System.

The educational sessions are set to conclude around 2:30 p.m., at which time guests will be invited to enjoy pontoon rides, live music and root beer floats.  The informational booths will also reopen at that time.

Door prizes will also be given away throughout the day’s festivities, Lenius said.

For those Detroit Lakes residents who don’t have a means of getting to the Pavilion on their own, free transportation to and from the venue will be provided by Becker County Transit.

Those who would like a ride are asked to call 218-847-1674 by Wednesday, June 18.

In addition, those who are planning to take part in the picnic lunch are asked to RSVP prior to the event.

“We’re planning on lunch for 300, but we’d like to have some idea of the total beforehand,” Lenius said of the reason why RSVPs were requested.

For more information, or to register for the picnic lunch, please Lois, Amy or Karen at Mahube-Otwa Community Council, 218-847-1385.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454