About 3,000 will participate today at fairgrounds
The Olympic spirit will be out in full force today as about 3,000 senior citizens will compete in the Senior Olympics at the Scioto County Fairgrounds.
“It's awesome,” publicity director Angie Kepp said. “You don't know whether to laugh or cry.”
Area seniors will participate in numerous competitions, including checkers, dominoes, bowling and basketball.
The competitions will be at the north end of the fairgrounds near the grandstand area.
The opening ceremony for the eighth-annual event will be at 9:30 a.m. and the games will continue throughout most of the day.
The participants will be given breakfast before competition starts.
Former Pittsburgh Pirate Al Oliver will be a guest and Kepp said Ohio Rep. Todd Book and other local officials also may attend.
Elvis Presley impersonator Patrick Johnson is scheduled to perform from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Other musical acts scheduled to perform are the Pike Pickers, Diana Dally, Tracy Peters, Tammy Daniels, Bobbie Jo Cloggers, the Rockin' Red Streaks band with Todd Peltz, and Brad Mastin.
The local Senior Olympics started at Pleasant Hills Nursing Home Piketon in 2000 for its residents.
The event now includes residents from Pike, Jackson, Ross, Scioto, Lawrence, Franklin, Adams, Kenton, Highland and Pickaway counties in Ohio.
Seniors from Greenup, Boyd and Lewis counties in Kentucky also will participate.
“This is a really, really special day where people come together for the needs of the senior citizens,” Kepp said. “It's something to remember.”
She said the day is important for those who compete in it.
“I visit nursing facilities on a daily basis and the residents talk about this event from year to year,” Kepp said. “They look forward to competing and are already practicing for their events.”
Rest areas will be provided and staff will be on hand to assist those seniors needing any help with medications.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.