Senior Mardi Gras

Senior Mardi Gras
Senior Mardi Gras

The good times will be rolling at the annual Senior Mardi Gras presented by the Best Years Center on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. inside the Beaumont Civic Center. Seniors are invited to come out and enjoy this fantastic event free of charge.

This popular, daylong festival features entertainment, food, shopping and education with more than 80 vendors on hand who have valuable options for overall healthcare and wellness.

Attending will be local health department officials, fire department, library representatives, home health agencies, hospice, community living facilities along with those offering travel trips and exercise programs including Tai Chi, which is the newest Best Years Center program led by Mark Taylor, providing information to active adults.

Plenty of entertainment is scheduled for this year’s “fay-doe-doe” including performances by the Boot Scoot Western Dancers, Happy Steppers Jazz & Tap Dancers, Volunteer Voices and Golden Inspirations, and great Zydeco music from the popular group Ken Marvel & Swamp Rock Music as well as a demonstration of low impact aerobics.

There will also be food tastings, which will include red beans and rice, plus master gardeners who will be there to answer questions, as well as a photo booth where memories can be made.

Special guests include Dana Melancon of KFDM, who will crown the king and queen, Mayor Becky Ames, Bishop Curtis Guillory, and Dr. James R. Fuller. Lance Edwards of KBMT is this year’s master of ceremonies.

“This event allows seniors to have fun at Mardi Gras in a safe environment,” said Paula Baxter, community educator at Compassion Hospice and planning committee member. “This event is entirely designed for seniors.”

For those early birds, the lobby of the Civic Center will open at 9 a.m. The foyer will include information from the Ben J. Rogers Visitor Center, photo booth and snacks.

Golf carts will be available to help bring attendees to and from their vehicles to avoid long walks to the Civic Center.

If the Senior Mardi Gras is not enough for you, the Best Years Center offers an extended day trip Saturday, Feb. 25, that will take you from Beaumont to Southeast Texas Mardi Gras in Port Arthur from 12:30-7 p.m. Tickets are $25, which includes transportation and an entrance ticket.

Senior Mardi Gras was created more than 15 years ago to help showcase the programs at the Best Years Center and bring senior-focused businesses together to share information in a festive atmosphere.

The Best Years Center is a nonprofit that has a multi-purpose facility providing recreational activities to active seniors.

The facility, a 22,000-square-foot activity and social center at 780 S. Fourth St., has been open since 1978 and offers a variety of classes like ceramic art, technology, bridge lessons and even a class on how to learn to speak Spanish. There is also a library, book club and choir room.

Sponsors including Calder Woods and Synergy Home Care have been key components for this year’s Senior Mardi Gras.

“There are a lot of people behind the event that deserve a lot of recognition,” said Baxter.

The planning committee, which includes long-time committee members Penny Pearson with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Nancy Seegers with Genesis Clairmont Beaumont, begin meeting in June to help plan the event.

Of course, who could forget Lynn Huckaby and her crew at the Best Years Senior Center, including Debra Queen, Michelle Hardy, Lillian Cobb and Jessica Prescott. They strive to help seniors plan for a brighter, healthier lifestyle.

Additional sponsors include Cigna, Regina Rogers in memory of Ben and Julie Rogers, Quality Care Services, Seniorific News, Texan Plus, Genesis Clairmont Beaumont, MCT Credit Union, Compassion Hospice, Southern Home Health, SETX Home Care, Promptu Immediate Care, Christus Physicians Group and Best Hospice Care of Texas.

The Beaumont Civic Center is at 701 Main St. in downtown.

For more information, call (409) 838-1902.