The Santa Clarita Public Library held its 14th annual Family Literacy Festival at the Old Town Newhall Library branch on Saturday with “Adventure Awaits” as this year’s theme.
The free event occurred after last year’s festival was canceled because of COVID-19 disruptions. According to Senior Librarian Zoraida Martinez, the event also had some of the highest attendance.
“The last time we had this event was in 2019, and we had about 2,500 people,” Martinez said. “I think I saw about the same number of attendance this year.”
The theme “Adventure Awaits” encouraged attendees to travel to every library corner for activities and different entertainment options. Additionally, booths and vendors set up tables promoting various organizations and activities.
The event featured various vehicles for children to sit in and honk the horns. A trolley, fire truck, waste disposal truck and other vehicles were displayed for children to enjoy.
Parents also participated in the events designed for adults, including arts and crafts, with some making coasters and magnets.
The event was organized months in advance and was possible with the 30 full-time staff, including part-time and volunteers, according to Martinez.
Since last year’s festival didn’t happen, many families who regularly attend the library informed Martinez and her staff of how excited they were for the festival to happen.
“They’ve been here and say hi to all the staff,” Martinez said. “They know us and say how excited they are to be here, and how great it is to have all of these events.”
The festival featured decorated sections for Antarctica, Europe, Asia, and other continents, with notable features for those regions. The decorations included the Parthenon, London Eye, Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower.
“In the teen area, we picked Asia and depicted different countries in Asia, with country flags,” Martinez said. “We also decorated cherry blossom trees and Mount Fuji.”
The event with the decorations and free book giveaways received a positive response from parents and kids participating in the festival.
Some of the books given away are from the Harry Potter series, Five Nights at Freddy’s, Dr. Seuss, Marvel and DC books; the library purchased books from Scholastic and vendors, and received donations, too, according to Martinez.
“We’ve had such a tremendously positive response for this year’s event,” Martinez added about the response from the book giveaway.
Martinez with her staff is already planning their next library event for March with the theme of “one story, one city” directed at adults who read.