LAWRENCE — The celebration at the Lawrence Senior Center didn't begin until 10 a.m., but seniors started lining up for the event at 6:45 a.m. Thursday.
By noon, some 500 senior citizens were enjoying the fourth annual "Lawrence Senior Day," held indoors this year at the senior center due to another rainy day.
Seniors were served lunch and there were dozens of vendors providing information on an array of subjects. Haircuts, manicures and massages were also available.
"Mayor Dan Rivera wants to make sure we celebrate our seniors in the city of Lawrence," said Martha Velez, senior citizen director, in video posted on social media Thursday morning encouraging elders to come out for the indoor picnic.
A DJ played music as seniors played skee ball and corn hole games. Lawrence police and firefighters were there offering an array of safety and contact information.
Rivera arrived around noon and was immediately welcomed with hugs and selfie requests.
Handed the microphone, the mayor was quick to acknowledge other officials in the room, including Paul Iannuccillo, the Northern Essex Register of Deeds.
"State Rep. Christine Minicucci es en la casa," said Rivera in Spanish announcing Minicucci was "in the house."
Kathleen Nackley grew up in Lawrence's Tower Hill neighborhood. She now lives in New Hampshire but was happy to be back in her native city as representative for Cedar View, a rehabilitation and health care center at 480 Jackson St. in Methuen.
Nackley spoke with the seniors about Cedar View's various programs that includes a Hispanic cultural program and an urgent care policy which allows people to come to Cedar View from their homes and not necessarily require a hospital admission.
Across the room, Lawrence General Hospital staffers spoke to seniors about preventing falls and medication safety. Many asked about where they could discard unused pain medication, said Dr. Emelissa Sacchetti.
Sacchetti also spoke to them about the dangers of sharing prescription medications with others.
"You don't know what someone else is allergic to," Sacchetti warned.
Nearby, Kathleen Lynch, a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant, offered samples of lotions and other Mary Kay cosmetics.
"There are some really nice people here," said Lynch, of Methuen.
Rivera praised Velez, the senior center director, for her work organizing senior day.
"Martha works hard to make it happen," he said.
Barber Samuel Pierre of El Corte Magico, students from VIP Hair and Nail Academy, and massage therapist Ariadi Lopez all offered their services free of charge at the senior event Thursday.
Other sponsors included: Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Element Care, Enterprise Bank, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Mill 240, Senior Whole Health, United Health Care, Best Home Health Care, Cure-Aid Pharmacy, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dept. of Veterans Affairs/Bedford VA Hospital, Elder Service of the Merrimack Valley, Fallon Health, Home Care Inc./Home Health VNA, Lawrence Housing Authority, Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, National Grid, Prestige, Alzheimer's Assocations of Mass. and N.H., Berkeley Retirement and Nursing Center, Caregiver Homes, Northeast Independent Living Program, Perfect Dental, The Savings Bank, Always Beyond Health Care and Massachusetts State Police.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.