Age-Friendly Festival
Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Age-Friendly Festival and when/where will it be held?

Inspired by the Age-Friendly Sarasota initiative and presented as a gift by The Patterson Foundation, the Age-Friendly Festival is the FIRST community celebration in the nation to focus on LIFELONG WELL-BEING while aspiring to CONNECT PEOPLE OF ALL AGES.

Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Hours: 9:00am – 4:00pm      (Rain or Shine!)
Location: Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34237.
FREE ADMISSION. No tickets are needed.
—Free on-site parking. (See festival location on map and driving directions.) 
—There are also SCAT bus stops conveniently located near the Fairgrounds. (Use SCAT bus routes 1 or 1A).

Attendees will enjoy exhibits, experiences, entertainment, and educational presentations highlighting age-friendly practices and principles that optimize community assets and enhance quality of life for all ages. There will be more than 125 organizations participating in the festival!

Exhibits and presentations will be held in Robarts Arena, the Ken Clark Auditorium, and the Potter Building ... with additional activities and entertainment taking place in outdoor areas of the Sarasota Fairgrounds.

Does it cost anything to attend the Age-Friendly Festival?

Admission is FREE for all ages, and no tickets are needed.

Inspired by the aspirations of residents that were shared through research conducted by the Age-Friendly Sarasota initiative, The Patterson Foundation is presenting the Age-Friendly Festival as a gift to the community.

What can I expect to see at the Age-Friendly Festival?

The Age-Friendly Festival will feature:

  • Engaging Exhibits: Individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and local government will showcase practices, services, and products advancing age-friendly principles in the community and beyond.
  • Educational Presentations: Authors, longevity experts, and thought leaders will share insights and innovations on living optimally at any age.
  • Live Entertainment: Performances by artists of all ages will be presented through a partnership with the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County's 2017 InspireSarasota!, a two-week celebration of arts and culture.
  • Hands-On Experiences: Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities that demonstrate ways to enhance quality of life.
  • Check out the more than 125 organizations that will be participating in the festival!

Will food and drinks be available for purchase at the Festival?

Yes! Refreshments will be available for purchase during festival hours from specially selected food trucks offering lunch, snacks, and cold drinks (including bottled water). Please note: Alcoholic beverages are not allowed at the Age-Friendly Festival.

Can I bring my pet with me to the Age-Friendly Festival?

Please leave your pets at home when you come to enjoy the Age-Friendly Festival. Participating organizations will have a variety of animals for you to interact with. Service animals are always welcome.

How can I get involved in the Age-Friendly Festival?

There are several ways to become involved in the Age-Friendly Festival. Please consider:

VOLUNTEERING! – There will be a variety of volunteer opportunities at the festival on Saturday, October 28, 2017 (and the day before for set up). Please see our Age-Friendly Festival Volunteer Opportunities for descriptions of volunteer roles and for signup information.

SPREADING THE WORD! – Between now and Oct, 28, 2017, help us inform the community about the festival:
1) We have flyers promoting the festival (available at the very bottom of the festival's main page) for you to please display and distribute.
2) If you have an upcoming event, we welcome the opportunity to have an Age-Friendly Festival information booth present. (For more information, contact Heather Koester,
3) We also have team members ready and eager to speak to any groups interested in hearing more about the age-friendly movement and the age-friendly festival. (See Request an AFS Speaker.)

JOINING THE FUN! – Mark your calendar now for Saturday, October 28th and bring your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors to the festival. There will be activities, information, and fun #ForAllAges!

Will there be volunteer opportunities with the Age-Friendly Festival?

Absolutely! Volunteers are vital to the success of the Age-Friendly Festival. They are needed to support the festival in a variety of roles and shifts such as greeters, assisting exhibitors and team members, and helping attendees navigate the layout of the event. Assistance is also needed the day before the festival for setting up. 

Community service hours will be available for youth, and there will be a need for bilingual volunteers.

Please see our Age-Friendly Festival Volunteer Opportunities for descriptions of volunteer roles and for signup information.

How is the Age-Friendly Festival advancing the age-friendly movement?

The Age-Friendly Festival will highlight a network of individual, business, nonprofit, and government  “advancers” promoting age-friendly practices and principles that optimize community assets and enhance quality of life for all ages. 

In addition, there will be Reflection Lounges — places where attendees can go to relax and talk about their festival experiences and share what the age-friendly movement means to them. Based on each lounge’s name, there will also be specialists in that subject matter available to speak with or volunteers that can guide attendees to a specific exhibit to get questions answered. Celebrating the age-friendly concept of Domains of Livability — important community features that impact well-being as we age — there will be reflection lounges named “Health & Well-Being,” “Housing,” “Transportation,” “Work & Play” and “Community Engagement.” 

Please see a recent blog post about the festival, by The Patterson Foundation's Communications Coordinator, which further addresses how the festival is advancing the age-friendly movement.

What is the value of this Festival to our community and region?

The festival's value to our community and region was explained in these excerpts below from the Sarasota County Government's Proclamation designating October 28th, 2017 as "Age-Friendly Festival Day."
 • "Sarasota County views itself as a lifelong community, regards active aging as a lifetime process, and recognizes that the increasing longevity of our populations requires us to be more age-friendly." 
 • "We are committed to helping all residents live healthy and active lives, with a focus on outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communicationa and information, and community and health services."
 • The Age-Friendly Festival is "a first-of-its-kind celebration of lifelong well-being — highlighting a network of businesses, government, nonprofits, media and individuals promoting age-friendly practices and principles that optimize community assets — that will serve to connect people of all ages."

It is important to note that Sarasota County has one of the nation's highest populations of older adults. Currently, older adults — those age 65 and older — represent one-third of Sarasota County residents, and more than half of Sarasota County's population is over age 50. Every generation is living longer.

What is The Patterson Foundation’s involvement in the Age-Friendly Festival?

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues — like well-being at any age — that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve.

Inspired by the Age-Friendly Sarasota initiative, The Patterson Foundation is funding the Age-Friendly Festival as a gift to the community. There is free admission, and everyone is invited to attend!

Is there a fee for participating organizations to be a part of the Festival?

There is no fee for participating organizations to be a part of any of the festival's offerings, and there is no cost to organizations for exhibition space. The Patterson Foundation is funding the Age-Friendly Festival as a gift to the community.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the more than 125 participating organizations that are many of the "advancers of the age-friendly movement" in our community.

Note: Request to participate submissions were accepted through July 31, 2017.

Who can I contact about the Age-Friendly Festival?

Send general Age-Friendly Festival inquiries to or call 941-702-4619 (and please leave a message on our answering machine so that we can return your call). You can also fill out our "Contact Us" form.

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