Angie Chewning, executive director of the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce, and her mother, Bootie Chewning, described the crowd attending the 2018 Senior Expo as a “swarm descending” on the Vinton War Memorial.
The building was packed for the event on March 27 with a crowd estimated to be well over 1,000 in attendance. The 500 goody bags prepared beforehand were gone in just moments.
Angie Chewning thanked the community for “continuing to come out and support the event,” which has grown to be one of the largest senior expos in the valley.
This is an annual event that traditionally draws hundreds of seniors, caregivers, businesses serving the interests of the aging, and baby boomers who are becoming seniors.
Exhibits featured information on retirement, assisted living, nursing care, health care, home care, hospice, health products, aging in place, medical equipment, insurance, reverse mortgages, hearing and eye care, and health screenings.
In addition to the goody bags, there were door prizes and vendor giveaways.
The entertainment is always a major draw for the event, with not just demonstrations of fitness and music activities for seniors but performed by seniors.
The entertainment this year included an exercise demonstration presented by the Lancerlot Sports Complex, a Tai Chi demonstration led by Steve Garay and the Vinton Seniors, a line dance demonstration led by Shelly McCallum and “Steppin’ in Time,” the Our Lady of the Valley Bell Choir, vocalist Keith Campbell (the Bedford Crooner) and the Vinton Express Band (which meets at the Vinton War Memorial each Monday afternoon for a jam session).
Chef Drew Buzik and Becky Ingram from Star City Succotash Fine Foods and Catering prepared concessions once again.
Sponsors of the Senior Expo this year, in addition to the VACC, included the Senior News magazine, Pinnacle Bank, GCR Tire Centers, The Vinton Messenger, Magnets USA, Cox Business, the Vinton War Memorial, Roanoke County, Lotz Funeral Home, BB&T, Mountain View Cemetery, Vinton Roofing Company, the Vinton War Memorial, Winter’s Storage, Vertex Signs, First Team Auto, Boxtree Lodge/Braeloch, Twin Creeks Brewing Company, Berkshire Health and Rehab, PFG, Grand Rental Station, and Carilion Clinic.
“We are always excited to see so many great folks and multi-generational families come check out our Senior Expo,” said Justin Davison, president of the VACC. “A big thank you to all our vendors for coming out and being a part of the Expo. It seems like it gets bigger every year and I couldn’t be happier at the turnout.”
The Chamber has many events planned in the coming months. Next up is the renamed Vinton Grapes and Grains Festival on May 19 back this year at the Vinton War Memorial.