For several years, Virginia Downing of Marion has been a fixture at the North Central-Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging Senior Fair each fall in Salina.
“It’s very educational,” she said Friday. “You get a lot of first-hand information about what’s happening with Medicare.”
And that’s just the start of the useful information available, she said. Downing said that one year, she even received a free ear exam at the Senior Fair.
Each year the fair features a keynote speaker and several workshops. Downing said the workshops might not be for everyone, but she enjoys the experience. Workshop topics include transportation, travel safety, legal matters for seniors, and tax preparation.
“I’m always interested in learning, so I like them,” she said.
Unfortunately, she said she will be unable to go to the Senior Fair this Tuesday.
But despite Downing’s absence, Marion County will be sending one of its biggest delegations, Marion County Department on Aging Coordinator Gayla Ratzlaff said. Most years the county sends a van full of people to the event. This year demand was high enough to require a second van.
The theme for this year’s fair is “Roadside Adventures!” As part of the theme, each senior center nominates a patron for consideration at the county level to be named a “navigator.” Marion County’s honoree this year will be Kermit Ratzlaff of Hillsboro.
Patrons at the senior centers make centerpieces for tables at the fair based on the annual theme, and many donate items to be sold on a silent auction with proceeds supporting services for senior citizens.
The fair will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Bicentennial Center in Salina. Registration costs $20. To register for the fair, call (800) 432-2703.