Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

July 9, 2014

Celebrating Seniors

TRAVERSE CITY — National Cherry Festival-goers had plenty of options on a day when the sun finally burst through the clouds, especially if they were at least 50 years old.

Golden-agers lined up along elongated shuffleboard courts with paddles and pucks to compete for prizes at the Senior Center Network on Barlow Street.

Ethel Buckan from Virginia Beach spends her summers vacationing in the area. She plays shuffleboard with friends at the center every Tuesday and Thursday. The festival tournament kept her on her toes, though.

“We get to play with people from all over the state,” she said. “It can be more challenging with so many good players.”

Tournament Director Ed Papp agreed. The National Cherry Festival brought plenty of snowbirds who spent their winters pushing pucks in Florida.

“There are those who come from Florida who are very serious -- they’re pros,” he said. “But this tournament is about fun. There’s more competition and we’re playing for something, but it’s all about having fun.”

Across town, lifelong memories were made at the Intergenerational Picnic at the Grand Traverse Pavilions. Grandparents and their grandchildren enjoyed a free luncheon of grilled burgers and hot dogs as they listened to to music by the Cherry Blossom Ramblers.

Traverse City resident Jack Brizard, 10, came with his sister Mari, 8, and his mom, Julie Flaherty.

“I like that you get to hang out with family and find out things about them you didn’t know and also meet their friends,” he said about having lunch with his great grandparents, Shirlie and Jerry McEvers.

Shirlie said she enjoyed the picnic because it was a festival event that was more “low-key” and was easy to access adn exit.

“It’s one thing that’s not in all the traffic for the Cherry Festival,” she said. “When you’re in your 80s, you want to avoid that.”

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