Rosemarie Mrozinski of the American Beauty School paints fingernails. The 50plus Expo at the York Expo Center is a free event featuring more than 90
Rosemarie Mrozinski of the American Beauty School paints fingernails. The 50plus Expo at the York Expo Center is a free event featuring more than 90 exhibitors to provide resources and inforamtion intended to encourage healthy and productive lifestyles for baby boomers, seiors and caregivers. (Bil Bowden photo)

With his hair in a shower cap and a warm towel on his neck, Dan Jones leaned back in his chair as a beauty school student slathered lotion on his hands and face.

And somehow, despite all the bustle at the 11th annual 50plus Expo, he closed his eyes, lay back and relaxed.

About a half hour later, Jones, 55, of Mechanicsburg opened his eyes, looking moisturized and refreshed.

"That was awesome," he said as he rose from his chair.

This was Jones' first time at the expo, and he saw the American Beauty Academy's exhibit and thought, "Hey, I'm up for that," he said. He even got his nails done, although they were clear.

"My daughter would be jealous if I got a pink or something like that," he said.

He said the experience was relaxing and longer than he expected.

"I was impressed. It was like the full deal," Jones said. "This is the best part of the whole show. I'm glad I went."

Surprise spa: The exhibit was one of more than 90 that gave seniors information, screenings and activities to help them be happier and healthier.

Attendance was near 2,000, which is similar to previous years, said events manager Kimberly Shaffer.

The students at the American Beauty Academy, based in Park City Center in Lancaster, brought the new exhibit, giving visitors free manicures, massages, facials and eyebrow waxing.

"That was a really fun surprise for a lot of our attendees," Shaffer said, noting that the expo hopes to host an expanded exhibit next year. "That's been a really neat addition to have."

And Barbara Forry, 71, of Conewago Township agreed.

"It was great. It was absolutely great," she said after receiving a massage and facial. "My skin feels so good. My face feels nice and fresh."

She's been to the expo before and held a tote bag full of candy, York Revolution hats and lots of information pamphlets.

"So far, this is the best thing here," Forry said.

She said her grandchildren and great-grandchildren keep her busy and youthful, but it's also nice to take time for herself.

"I've been really pampered today," she said.

'Age is just a number': Evelyn Cutler, 90, of Cross Roads attends the expo each year but was surprised to see the spa exhibit.

"This is something new," she said while getting her nails painted a melon pink. "They didn't have this last year."

And although she loves the free stuff at the expo, the most important item to snag is information, she said.

Sitting nearby, Barbara Bristow, 70, agreed.

"The free stuff is nice, but for me, it's more for the information," she said.

As her long nails, now painted a fall-friendly bronze, dried, she explained that she was in the mood to treat herself.

"This was a pleasant surprise. I was not expecting this," said Bristow, of Manchester Township. "It's like a full day at a spa."

The expo also featured hearing, balance, blood pressure and fitness screenings, as well as several living assistance and home-help vendors. But keeping healthy is also about feeling good, Bristow said.

"I think if you try and keep yourself looking good, you feel better," she said. "To me, age is just a number."

-Reach Mollie Durkin at