WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP today announced that the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in downtown New Orleans will host the organization's annual National Event & Expo this fall. Taking place from September 20th – 22nd, Life@50+ focuses on the 50+ audience with entertainment, celebrities, experts and exhibits, bringing some of today's most renowned faces and companies directly to AARP members. The event will kick off on Thursday, September 20th with "New Orleans Reimagined" – a day of service led by AARP Ambassadors James "JB" Brown, Dan Marino and Martina Navratilova – where more than 1,500 volunteers are expected to visit 15 community locations to offer service and support to the New Orleans community.
"We are excited to finally bring Life@50+ to New Orleans this fall," said A. Barry Rand, CEO, AARP. "We were scheduled to be there in 2005, but the effects of Hurricane Katrina forced the cancellation of our event. Now we're coming back in full force and we're bringing thousands of people with us to take part in all that New Orleans has to offer! We also have hundreds of attendees ready to volunteer and leave a lasting impact on the city and areas still in need."
In addition to the day of service projects, attendees will experience lifestyle and education sessions led by celebrities and subject experts; fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, hands-on technology classes, cultural events, health screenings and music classes. Event highlights include:
- Opening Show: NBC's Hoda Kotb in conversation with Chef Emeril Lagasse.
- Confirmed Appearances: Political gurus James Carville and Mary Matalin; actors LeVar Burton, Cicely Tyson and Ben Vereen, from the epic mini-series Roots, reunite live on stage; Tuskegee Airmen pilot James Harvey, III; AARP Ambassadors Jean Chatzky, Chris Gardner and Leeza Gibbons.
- Entertainment: AARP will host its annual Movies for Grownups Film Festival, featuring some of this season's great films along with a few films attendees will get to see before they open in theatres.
- Fitness: Friday morning fitness class led by tennis legend Martina Navratilova and Zumba Gold on Saturday morning.
- Technology and Innovation: A special showcase, Health Innovation @50+ Live Pitch, will connect health technology startups with investors in an effort to stimulate innovations that serve the health needs of Americans age 50+.
- Music: Live performances throughout the weekend from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Kermit Ruffins, Soul Rebels, and Hiroshima. Life@50+ concludes on September 22nd with a one -night-only special event at the New Orleans Arena featuring Grammy Award-winners Melissa Etheridge, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Nicks. (Optional - Added Cost - Space is limited). Tickets are available for purchase through Ticketmaster.
Life@50+ will feature an exhibit hall covering nearly 330,000 square feet (more than 5.5 football fields in size!) with over 300 exhibitors, offering valuable information and various products and services, including new and future technologies, appliances, travel and leisure destinations—all targeting the 50+ demographic. AARP is pleased to welcome back UnitedHealth Group and Walgreens as Platinum sponsors for the 2012 Life@50+ event. Additional sponsors include Allstate, Foremost, NAMM, Charles Schwab, Chase Credit Card, Concord Music Group, New York Life Insurance Co., and The Hartford.
AARP's National Event & Expo has grown each year since its format changed in 2001 from a delegate convention to a member facing experience. The attendance has grown from 5,000 in 2001 (Dallas) to over 20,000 in 2011 (Los Angeles). The Exhibit Hall has nearly doubled from 175 exhibits to more than 300 today.
Admission to Life@50+ for AARP members is $25, $35 for non-members. The entry fee includes access to the Exhibit Floor, Exhibit Floor Performance Stage, the opening show, educational sessions and the volunteer activities. Non-member registration includes a one-year membership to AARP.
Online registration is open now at www.aarp.org/events or by phone at 1-800-883-2784.
Additional information on Life@50+, as well as the complete schedule, can be found online at www.aarp.org/events.