Lehighton Senior Center went all out to celebrate the center's 35th anniversary.

The Lehighton center was the second center to open in Carbon County in 1974.

Members of the Lehighton Senior Center planned the celebration and decorated the room," said Patty Schmalzriedt, Lehighton manager. "The planning has gone on for several months."

Lehighton didn't keep the party close - instead they opened up the celebration to all Carbon County Senior Center members. The room was festive with gayly decorated tables, topped with colored balloons.

The highlight of the afternoon was Elvis Impersonator Brad Crum, who sang throughout the afternoon.

The first Lehighton center opened at Trinity Lutheran Church, but several years ago, the location moved to the Lehighton Recreation Center. Other centers are located in Weatherly, Palmerton, Panther Valley and Jim Thorpe/Penn Kidder. Penn Kidder will soon have its own center.

Senior centers allow senior citizens, ages 60 and older the opportunity to socialize and take part in organized recreational activities, such as participate in daily card games, go bowling, go on bus trips, just by becoming a member. They can also purchase a hot lunch weekdays for a $2 donation.

Anne Harrigan of the Carbon County Agency on Aging, said that senior centers opened as a result of the Older Americans Act.

After "Elvis" began his show, many seniors got off their seats and danced close to the slow melodies, and jitterbugged to the faster songs.

Horrigan said that when the centers opened, people had the impression that people over 60 were old, but she said that isn't the impression any longer.

"Eighty is the new 60," said Horrigan. "Sixty is considered young today."

For information about joining in activities at your local senior center, call (610) 824-7830 or toll free 1 (800) 441-1315.