It’s no secret that the Athens area is a popular destination for many retirees. Forbes magazine continuously cites Athens as one of its top 25 cities in the country for the retired.
And while many have embraced technology as a way to keep up with family, friends and trends, there are also many who continue to stay apprised in their community by reading printed products.
With that in mind, the Athens Banner-Herald and OnlineAthens.com are reaching out to residents 55 and older with the What’s Next? Lifestyles and Activities Expo.
This popular event is back on Oct. 17 for a third time in less than a year.
The expo brings together local businesses and service providers to offer suggestions and directions for an enhanced lifestyle for area residents 55 and older.
Tina Laseter, Online Athens’ director for marketing and engagement, says the expo is a way for active adults, their families, and friends to uncover some events, activities, products or services here in Athens that they might not know about.
The expo grew out of conversations with community partners such as the Athens YMCA, Athens YWCO and the Athens Community Council on Aging that older adults are bombarded with health fairs and financial resource fairs, but nobody is doing anything that puts an emphasis on things to do and see.
“As a newspaper, it’s our responsibility to collect this kind of information get it out to the public, but nothing compares to face-to-face conversation when trying to share and obtain information. That is one of the reasons we decided to put together the expo. Being active and socially engaged, whether it’s going to a show at The Classic Center or line dancing at the Council on Aging, is so very important,” said Laseter.
The fall What’s Next? Lifestyles and Activities will be at the Athens YMCA at 915 Hawthorne Ave., Athens. Doors open at 10 a.m. and the event lasts until 1 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
New this fall is a series of workshops and live performances:
10 a.m. - POUND Fitness Class
Dance your way to the best health ever. You’ll improve your balance to help prevent falls, increase brain power by improving your memory skills, strengthen your muscles without hurting your joints and make new friends.
10:45 a.m. - Live Performance
Back by popular demand, the ACCA line dancers will share their latest routines. From Motown classics, to country tunes, to today’s pop hits, the dancers cover the whole gamut. Not just good for the body physically, line dancing is a good way to help keep the brain agile and forge social connections.
11:15 a.m. - Cooking Demo
Does the thought of creating a healthy meal that still tastes good raise your blood pressure? Well, fret no more. St. Mary’s Registered Dietitian Courtney Vickery will teach you how to make a delicious meal that still tastes great. You even get to taste a sample of the quinoa chili.
11:45 a.m. - Live Performance
The New Horizons Band is made up of adults who love to play music and share it with others. In this performance, they will celebrate the time of year by performing music for the Halloween season.
12:10 p.m. - Travel &Leisure
Travel with the Center for Active Living. Find out more about the twice a month outings and excursions to neighboring towns and communities. Sample trips include Gibbs Gardens, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, Cirque du Soleil and the Biltmore Estates.
12:30 p.m. - Gardening &Healthy Eating
Enjoy peaceful and healthy gardening tips with Heather Pittman of the Athens YMCA. Gardening improves your sleep cycle, attention span and your balance. Learn how to start a garden at home and reap the benefits of the produce.
Along with the workshops and performances, event attendees can expect interactive vendor booths. Vendors at the expo include:
• Athens Community Council on Aging
• Athens YMCA
• Athens YMCO
• Georgia Hearing Center
• Home Instead Senior Care
• OLLI @UGA
• Piedmont Athens Regional
• St Mary’s Healthcare Systems
• Super Cuts
• The Bus
• The Classic Center
• Urban Sanctuary
UGA Community Music School
• Athens Clarke County Library
• Athens TLC Dental
In addition to the information and activities at the expo, Dukes BBQ will have their food truck on the premises along with the Java Joy Coffee Cart.
For more information, call (706) 208-2318.