BANGOR, Maine — Set for Friday, the annual Senior Expo at the Spectacular Event Center has become so popular among the silver-haired set that this year, organizers have had to make overflow parking arrangements, Eastern Agency on Aging communications director Carol Higgins Taylor said in a recent interview.
Because more than 500 people turned up last year, many seniors had to park on side streets and parking lots off site, Taylor said.
This year, the Airport Mall has offered the use of its back parking lot, she said. From there, seniors can hop aboard the shuttles that Sunbury Village and Winterberry Heights are providing to help ferry people to and from the event venue.
“That way, seniors can save all their energy for walking around at the expo,” Taylor said, adding that shuttle riders should park on the Griffin Road side of the mall. She added that Johnson’s Florist and Gifts at the Bangor Mall will offer shuttle riders a 10 percent discount on expo day to sweeten the deal.
“There’s really something for everyone,” Taylor said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s a labor of love and I love the elderly and I want them to have everything they need to improve their quality of life.”
This year’s Senior Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature more than 80 vendors, exhibitors, service providers and other organizations — enough to fill all three of the large gathering rooms at the Spectacular Event Center, Taylor said.
There, seniors and other attendees can learn more about a number of health, wellness and personal care services available to them, she said. They also can shop for jewelry, scarves, electric candles, home decor items and services or sign up for senior college.
“I really love the mix that we have,” said Taylor, who has been a lead organizer of the annual free event for most of the years it has been held. “Just because you’ve turned 60, it doesn’t mean you lose interest in all of those other things.”
In addition to an array of health screenings and assessments, attendees will have easy access to information about state health insurance, legal services they may need, and home and vehicle adaptions that can keep them in their homes and behind the wheel longer.
During the expo, more than 30 door prizes will be drawn, she said, adding that rather than announce winners throughout the event, their names will be posted on easels that can be checked periodically over the course of the expo.
Attendees also can drop off unwanted or unused prescription drugs for proper disposal by local law enforcement agents.
This year’s event, a joint effort of the Eastern Agency on Aging and Penquis, is sponsored entirely by Martin’s Point Health Care, Higgins said.
“We’re very excited. We’re really looking forward to it,” Taylor said as she counted down the days to the expo. And while the event is geared toward seniors, the expo also is open to their loved ones, including children and grandchildren.
Over the years, the expo has drawn from an ever-widening radius, drawing attendees from as far off as Washington, Waldo and Knox counties, Taylor said.
“People come from as far as my media will reach. It’s kind of amazing.”
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