Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Events for kids and older adults alike planned Friday through Sunday

The After Dark in the Park festival opens Friday at River Legacy Parks in Arlington and runs through Sunday.
The After Dark in the Park festival opens Friday at River Legacy Parks in Arlington and runs through Sunday.

Both ends of the age spectrum have great opportunities for enjoyment at upcoming events. On Friday, a health and lifestyle event in Bedford, Empowering Seniors, has everything the older crowd needs. And for the youngsters, the After Dark in the Park festival opens Friday at River Legacy Parks in Arlington and runs through Sunday.

Expo on Friday offers help to seniors, baby boomers and caregivers

After seven increasingly successful years, the Empowering Seniors Health & Lifestyle Expo will be back again from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church of Euless’ Campus West, 205 N. Industrial Blvd. in Bedford. The expo — attended last year by more than 2,000 seniors, baby boomers and caregivers — is hosted by Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes.

“We are very grateful for all of our sponsors and exhibitors, including our new presenting sponsor Care N’ Care Insurance Co. Inc., who is bringing North Texas weather legend Troy Dungan as our special guest,” Fickes said.

The event is a one-stop place where older members of the community preparing for their golden years can check out their options for healthcare and major quality-of-life issues. The forecast for the expo is “fun” according to veteran weatherman Dungan, who will welcome guests and pose for souvenir photos.

“Participants will enjoy live entertainment, free health screenings conducted by healthcare professionals from four area hospitals, plus exhibits, bingo and lots of nifty door prizes. And one lucky attendee will win a drawing for a $500 shopping Visa card that is perfect for that pre-Christmas shopping spree,” said Rebecca Barksdale, Precinct 3 administrator in charge of the event.

Assisting Barksdale are staffers Devin Wenske, Theresa Parsons, Malory Shank and Freida Landerholm with help from committee volunteers Judy Atwood, Faye Beaulieu, Amanda English, Marcia Etie, Renee Frizzell, Michelle Holloway, Terri Palamino, Ronnie Parish and Michelle Varley.

“More than 140 exhibitors include businesses and nonprofit agencies that serve the over-50 market, among them travel agencies, legal and financial services, retirement communities, assisted-living and Alzheimer’s centers. Exhibitors will also offer information on nutrition, insurance, hearing aids, orthopedic and dental services, medical supplies and a chance to apply for a handicap sticker,” Barksdale said.

Always a top attraction at the event are the on-site health screenings to test things like cholesterol, blood glucose, bone density, hearing, vision and more. “We can’t say enough about our four area hospitals that have been with us from our first event in 2009 providing valuable health screenings,” says Fickes. “Our attendees confirm year after year that these free screenings are crucial to how they monitor their health.”

Attendees with a Medicare card can receive free immunizations for flu, pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough along with information fall prevention, dental health and prostate risk assessment. Those wanting to get rid of expired medications may bring them to the event for safe disposal.

“Seminars will include last year’s popular ‘Ask the Doctor’ panels that feature nine physicians, surgeons and pharmacists over three different sessions,” said Barksdale. “Guests may also attend any of the eight workshops on topics including Medicare updates, health and well-being, local social outings, senior fraud and the basics about memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s.”

Yummy food samplings will be served up by Anna’s Mexican Grill, Bacon’s Bistro & Cafe, Boulevard Eatz, Chick-fil-A, Dickey’s Barbecue, Italianni’s, Kroger, Palio’s Pizza, McAlister’s Deli, Rita’s Ice and Texas Roadhouse. Entertaining dance and Zumba demonstrations, jugglers, balloon artists, a steel drum player, a photo booth and a performance by vocalist Ken Nelson are just a few fun attractions guests will enjoy

Admission is free, but registration is required. Sign up online at www.EmpoweringSeniors.com or call 817-581-3600.

After Dark in the Park opens Friday for family fun all weekend

It’s the 20th anniversary of the amazing fall festival hosted by the River Legacy Foundation in partnership with the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department. The enchanting three-day event has something for everyone in the family, but many of the activities are geared more for the younger kiddos ages 2 to 10.

Excitement will build for families entering the beautiful park as they walk the pathway illuminated with the perfect mood-setting lights on their way to the festival activities that will include bounce houses, temporary tattoos, karaoke, a pumpkin patch, balloon artists and a variety of unique games, crafts and activities.

“We are so excited to partner with some great corporations and small businesses to be able to provide a top-notch fall festival that is not only a significant fundraiser for River Legacy Foundation’s environmental programs, but has also become the fall festival that families turn to for a safe and fun seasonal event,” said Becky Nussbaum from the River Legacy staff.

Parents will want to make sure the children experience the mini-camping scene at Camp REI and listen to professional storytellers as they weave a web of tales for young listeners. Six Flags will offer prizes for participants in the Walk on the Wild Side musical roundabout game and later they will get a charge from participating in the pumpkin roll maze, spider bean bag toss, snake in a hole and jolly jack-o-lanterns activities.

“Guests of all ages will have fun discovering facts about nocturnal wildlife along the Nature at Night path, getting an up-close look at a live animal during our Animal Encounters show,” said spokeswoman Kristi Payne. And photographers will be on hand for those wanting a cute family fall photo to take home.

Don’t worry about dinner because the Yummy Pizza food truck will be at the festival along with On the Border and Chick-fil-A who will serve up delicious festival food. And of course, everyone will want treats from Kona Ice as well as cotton candy, kettle corn and roasted nuts.

Admission is $8 per person for everyone age 3 and older. Food and some activities require coupons, but there are more than 20 activities that are free with the price of admission. The $45 family fun package provides four admissions and $20 in coupons for food and activities. Packages must be purchased by Thursday at the River Legacy Living Science Center, 703 NW Green Oaks Blvd. or online at www.riverlegacy.org.

Historic Handley street festival is Saturday

It’s the 18th year for the family-friendly street festival hosted by the Historic Handley organization. The event in the charming hamlet of Handley, on the eastern edge of Fort Worth, offers a car show, games, concessions, vendor exhibits, community information booths, family fun and live entertainment from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Continuous entertainment will include performances by the East Fort Worth Community Jazz Band, classic rock band Rastus, hard rock band Once Divided, country singer Rod Balch and Christian band PS 150.

A kids zone will have bounce houses, a very special train, face-painting, a book walk and all sorts of carnival games. Be sure to visit the historic railroad museum and the train totem exhibit along with the exhibit set up by Cowtown Model Railroad.

Festivalgoers can see firetrucks, the fire safety house and the fire clown as well as visit the police RV for fingerprint identification. Some of the most beautifully restored rides in the area will be on display in the classic car show.

The festival activities are at the intersection of East Lancaster Avenue and Handley Drive. Admission and parking are free. Contact Jean McClung at 817-446-3741 or visit www.HistoricHandley.org for details.

Briefly

  • Day of the Girl March on Main Street is at 2 p.m. Friday on the west lawn of the Tarrant County Courthouse hosted by Girls Inc. of Tarrant County, the organization whose mission is to “inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.” Register for $25 (includes shirt) at www.GirlsIncTarrant.org.
  • Trick or Trot 5K/1-mile is at 6:30 a.m. Saturday at Acme Brick Building on the Trinity Trails, 3024 Acme Brick Plaza. Benefits the Humane Society of North Texas. 5K is timed and 1-mile fun walk is not. Doggy Halloween costume contest, awards for top finishers, vendor booths, music and prizes. Register at the event or www.hsnt.org.
  • Touch-A-Truck Festival is from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Birdville Fine Arts/Athletics Complex, 9200 Mid-Cities Blvd. in North Richland Hills, and benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Children and families can get up close and personal with community vehicles, trucks and machinery. Meet the men and women who protect, serve and build our community and enjoy activities in the kids zone, raffles, food trucks, and vendor booths. Cost is $5 per person. www.CFF.org.

Please send your SocialEyes news tips to freeder@star-telegram.com. Keep up with even more community news by liking our page on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SocialEyes.ST. Twitter: @FayeReeder

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