Senior citizens got in free to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Tuesday, the second senior day of fair week.
The day’s events were senior-themed, with a senior citizen talent contest, cookie baking contest and barnball game.
The official senior citizen barnball game was cancelled because of the heat, but a handful of seniors shot baskets on the fairgrounds Farmstead court anyway.
Joan Gary, 77, threw 10 underhand shots a few feet from the basket.
“I played basketball in school, but that was ’50 to ’54,” she said.
She used to camp at the fairgrounds when she lived in Fremont, Ind., but now lives in Greencroft assisted living facilities in Goshen. She said she comes out to the fairgrounds to watch all the events.
“I think this fair is so clean and excellent,” she said.
Gary was the first woman to win the Dick Shank Lifetime Fitness Award, which is in its fourth year.
She’s a runner and participated in this year’s Parade 5000 Road Run. Gary was the oldest woman to participate.
“This is the lesson,” she said. “You can have fun and stay healthy through life.”
IU Health Goshen and Elkhart General Hospital tried to help with that as well, offering health services tailored to senior citizens in their booths on the fairgrounds.
Raeanne Savage of IU Health’s Shipshewana offices handed out tote bags in front of the IU Health tent.
Most senior citizens came through the tent to get blood pressure checked. Savage said they do screenings because the more people know about their health, the better they can take care of themselves.
“We’re really trying to strive toward getting people on a better health track,” Savage said.