Senior Games, a Spring tradition, resumes in Macon County

Past president Fred Haller, who has helped coordinate the Macon County Senior Games for 30 years, passes the torch to current president Mike Townsend, marking the 32nd anniversary and officially declaring the opening of the 2022 games. The games will run through May 6 with a banquet on July 2. For more about the games and the opening ceremonies. photos by Vickie Carpenter

Deena C. Bouknight – Contributing Writer

Senior games in Macon County kicked off this month with a luncheon ceremony.

Commissioner Gary Shields spoke at the opening ceremonies.

Locally, senior games began 32 years ago. The qualifying games, open to anyone 50 years of age or older, involve several weeks each spring of such activities as badminton, shuffleboard, cornhole, table tennis, bocce, croquet, pickle ball and more. This year, more than 100 people have signed up to participate. Some activities take place at the Robert C. Carpenter Community Building on Georgia Road in Franklin, while others are at Parker Meadows Complex on Patton Road.

On a state level, North Carolina Senior Games (NCSG) began in 1983 with a

Kim Crawford with the Macon County Senior Center; and Cody Brooks, Senior Games Coordinator

vision to create a year-round health promotion and wellness education opportunity for middle-aged to older adults.  The Senior Games’ mission, according to NCSG, is truly grassroots in North Carolina.

Karen Townsend, who has been involved in the Macon County Senior Games for many years with her husband, Mike, said, “For senior citizens, this is a program to keep body, mind, and spirit fit … and to have fun, fellowship, and enjoy good food.” 

Whoever “qualifies” during the spring games is able to advance to Raleigh to participate in state Senior Games’ competitions. 

A group of line dancers performed for those assembled for the opening ceremonies of the 2022 Senior Games.
Karen Symonds passes the torch to the other Ambassadors.
Fred and Eva Haller were presented gifts in appreciation for their dedication to the Macon County Senior Games for more than 30 years.

Senior Games on a national level this year are in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., May 10-23.

For more information about current and future Macon County Senior Games, email Cody Brooks with the Macon County Parks & Recreation at

Following the ceremonies, the seniors were treated to lunch.