ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s Department of Senior Affairs celebrated a special community member in a big way. They decided Saturday night’s Twinkle Light Parade would be the perfect spot.

Senior Affairs had a float in the Twinkle Light Parade in Nob Hill for the first time. To enter, they had to submit an idea months ago to Arts and Culture which was accepting applicants. The department chose “Deck the Decades” as its theme. It was all to celebrate one of their own.

“We wanted to go ahead and have our presence known for positive aging for older adults in Albuquerque. Today our theme is based around one of our centenarians that enjoys playing pool at one of our centers,” said Marketing and Communication Coordinator for the Department of Senior Affairs Denise Parras.

David Keys recently turned 100 years old, and he was asked to lead the Senior Affairs float Saturday night. Those involved dressed up as their favorite era ranging from the 1920s to present day. All of this was to pay tribute to Keys and the decades he’s lived through.

Keys is not originally from New Mexico and lived in many places throughout his life. However, he said Albuquerque is at the top of his list. He attended the Bear Canyon Community Center for 10 years and enjoys spending time with his friends there.

“My favorite activity is pool, and I’ve been doing it out there for at least 10 years. It’s been a great recreation, and the people there that play are really fun,” said David Keys.

It took two weeks to create the float. They used lights, chicken wire, and paper. They crafted a jukebox and played music as their float went along the parade.

Senior Affairs said, not only did they want to celebrate Keys, but they also wanted to highlight positive aging through staying healthy and active.

The department also said they wanted to celebrate Keys’ daughter, who is not only a caretaker for her father, but also a volunteer at the Bear Canyon Community Center.

“That would be the key. Stay active. He never sits down for more than 10 minutes. That’s the secret to living to be 100 is keep on moving,” said his daughter Lara Keys.


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Her dad added, “Definitely, keep on moving.”