A cooking demonstration was held in the main hall and dozens of enthusiastic women and men watched as Susie Jacobs assembled a recipe for broccoli salad, which everyone then tasted.
"I will certainly come to these again," said Bonnie Benedict, who has lived in Danville since 1970. "This is fun."
She said she was already a fan of Senior Sneakers trips.
Assistant Town Manager Marcia Somers was there to answer questions and help newcomers become acclimated.
One man approached with a question about parking, which gave Somers the chance to tout the town's large new parking lot at 177 Front St., which has a pathway convenient to the Vets Hall.
The new Senior Center program will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday in the lounge. It will offer free coffee and a chance to visit with friends, meet new people, play cards and board games, and learn about other programs and services for Danville residents 55 and older.
Somers attributed the turnout to a "new, improved" Silver Streak. The newsletter had been going to 300-400 households, she said, but after the senior survey conducted early last year, its format was changed and it was sent to 8,000 households in Danville.
"The Senior Sneakers trips all have people registered and four have waiting lists," said Somers.
When the program opened at 10 a.m. Monday, 62 seniors has signed in, said Councilwomen Candace Andersen and Councilman Mike Doyle, who were present for the occasion.
After being lobbied late last year by a group of seniors that said Danville does not do enough for this segment of the population, the Town Council approved a survey to find out seniors' wants and needs. On July 1, the town OK'd $346,888 in the new budget, an 84 percent increase over the previous year's $188,511. Funds are being used for a full-time town staff member, program coordinator Jen Overmoe, the improved Silver Streak, and new classes and programs, including a number of low-cost and free activities.
By 11 a.m. Monday, the cooking demonstration was well attended but the lounge was also popular, with people coming and going. To learn more about the new senior program, visit the Senior Center at the Vets Hall at 400 Hartz Ave. or call Overmoe at 314-3476.