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TARCOG News & Headlines

Read on for recent happenings, announcements, and notable headlines from TARCOG and its communities throughout the region.



A big crowd celebrates Older Americans Month at the Alabama A&M Agribition Center on Tuesday, May 14.

When Willie Mae Baker of Athens arrived at the Alabama A&M Agribition Center in Huntsville on Tuesday morning, she knew a good time was in store at the TARCOG Senior Fun Fest.

“It’s a big old fun thing I’m used to coming to,” said Baker, who has been attending the annual Fun Fest for at least 10 years. “I love it. I love it.”

Willie Mae was among about 800 from Northeast Alabama who enjoyed musical and dance performances, games, refreshments, lunch, and door prizes to celebrate Older Americans Month at TARCOG’s Senior Fun Fest in Huntsville on Tuesday, May 14.

Willie Mae Baker arrives for TARCOG’s Senior Fun Fest on Tuesday, May 14.

One thing was different for the 37th Annual Fun Fest. For the first time in the event’s history, it wasn’t held at Sharon Johnston Park in New Market.

TARCOG Executive Director Michelle Jordan said it was a tough decision because everyone loves the park. But the forecasted rain and storms forced a last-minute change to the Agribition Center, where events could be safely held indoors.

Aside from a few sprinkles throughout the morning, participants from DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison and Marshall counties got to have their celebration before forecasted rain and storms later in the afternoon.

Brenda Littrell, of Paint Rock, attended her first ever TARCOG Senior Fun Fest this week and had a blast enjoying the music and activities.

Brenda Littrell, of Paint Rock, and Linda Larcom, nutrition coordinator for the Jackson County Council on Aging at TARCOG’s 37th Annual Senior Fun Fest.

“I love it, I love it, I love it I’ll be here again when you have it,” she said near the end of the event.

Seniors participated in the Fun Fest from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The honorary co-chairs of the event were Nancy Robertson, TARCOG’s former executive director, and Rene Breland, the agency’s former director of aging programs. This was the first regional Fun Fest since 2019 and since both retired from the agency.

The event was co-sponsored by the Madison County Commission, with Commission Chair Mac McCutcheon and Commissioners Tom Brandon, Violet Edwards and Steve Haraway attending.

McCutcheon and Haraway are TARCOG board members. Other TARCOG board members who participated included Limestone County Commission Chair Colin Daly, Athens City Councilman James Lucas, Huntsville City Councilwoman Jennie Robinson and Helen Carter, an Athens resident.

The event was held in Brandon’s County Commission District, where Sharon Johnston Park and The Agribition Center are located. County parks and recreation staff helped throughout the months of planning and on event day, Michelle said. The Agribition Center staff were also integral in making the last-minute venue shift.

“It takes a team effort to pull off an event of this size for our seniors,” Michelle said.

There were about 40 vendors and exhibitors which added to the fun environment with giveaways, activities, and snacks. There was a cooking lesson, photo sessions, and opportunities for health screenings among the many offerings of the day.

“It was truly a fun day for our seniors,” Michelle said. “We saw a lot of smiling faces and that’s the whole goal of this Fun Fest. We want them to have a day that’s all about them, and a chance to feel like a kid again.”