The city of Santa Clarita hosted its annual Family Literacy Festival Saturday at the Old Town Newhall Library to lift up literature, music, dance and crafts to the community.
“It is important for the community to understand that the arts are something that is accessible to them,” said Christopher Ramirez, founder of Freedom Drum Circles.
Throughout the event, there were different booths, with vendors including the city of Santa Clarita, Girl Scouts of the USA, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and others, offering free merchandise and interactive activities.
“We love the library and we usually have a lot of fun at their events,” said Dawn Kennedy, a mother who attended the festival. “And this one, especially since it was free, it seemed like a great event for all of them.”
Isaiah, Dawn’s son, added that his “favorite part was the bouncy house.”
In addition to the bouncy house, there was a face painting booth and a petting zoo at the festival. Children were seen throughout the event with festive Christmas trees painted on their faces.
At the festival, there were different special appearances, both fictional and real. Different characters appeared from popular children’s books like George from “Curious George” and Darth Vader and other characters from “Star Wars.”
Mayor Marsha McLean was present at the event for a storytime segment, but later in the event, she was seen singing “Baby Shark” with a shark puppet to children as they sang along.
“I think it is important to read because reading from a very young age has been shown to be very critical for doing well in school and work, so getting all ages out here from young babies to adults is helping promote that,” said Joanna Ritchie, senior librarian at Old Town Newhall Library.