How a small idea evolved into a big senior event

About five years ago, a small group of older adults had a simple idea. They wanted to have a picnic. But what they had in mind wasn’t your normal, garden-variety outing with soggy sandwiches, stale potato chips and muddy blankets. The armies of annoying ants could be left out, too.

These particular seniors had a different idea with a higher purpose.

The group had been witnessing an alarming trend as many of their friends seemed to be spending more time at home — alone. They wanted to find a fun way to get those folks out of the house and socializing again.

As a result, a social picnic just for seniors was born at Veterans Park in October 2007. The event was appropriately christened Senior Fall Fest.

With the newly-paved American Mile walking trail conveniently located near the park’s American Pavilion, the site turned out to be an ideal choice. The planning group – made up of the Senior Advisory Committee and people who work closely with the older population — provided food, entertainment and prizes. Everything went perfectly at the inaugural event until they ran out food. It seems they had expected about 400 people, but scores more showed up!

Since then, the event has become a mainstay on local seniors’ calendars, with 500 or more taking part each year in the fun-filled, old-fashioned picnic. Click here to view a slideshow of photos that capture just some of the fun we’ve had in the past.

The 6th Senior Fall Fest will be Thursday, Oct. 11, from 5-7 p.m. Seniors are invited to bring friends and join us for hamburgers, live entertainment, door prizes, games and fellowship. After all, when was the last time you took part in a cakewalk?

And we promise not to run out of food.

For more information, contact me at 979.764.6371 or

Marci Rodgers
Marci Rodgers | Senior Services Coordinator

Leave a Reply