The Dunkirk Free Library's carnival is the traditional way to begin its summer events for children. Tuesday was a dry day, so the attendance was high for the kickoff of the summer reading program. This year the theme is Dig into Reading.
Library Director Janice Dekoff said, "We've had about 200 turn out. That includes both children and adults."
In the library parking lot, volunteers staffed the games and food stands.
OBSERVER Staff Photos by Diane R. Chodan
Top: Left to right: Juliana and Aniyah, both 2, stand together near the Dunkirk Free Library’s carnival sign. The carnival on Tuesday kicks off the summer reading program, Dig into Reading.
Above: Baba the clown hands a balloon creation to Joe Askar, 6. Looking on are his sister Julia, 3, his brother Thomas, 5 and their mom, Susan Askar.
Wendy's donated drinks. That and popcorn were free. Alona Forbes, Lisa Forbes and Jack Forbes worked at the popcorn machine. Alona and Lisa are board members, while Jack is Lisa's son and Alona's grandson.
Karla Strefeler and her daughters Rylee, 7, and Emersyn, 3, took time for a cool drink.
Games included duck pond, sticky darts, a board game played with large dice, and a ring toss game using hula hoops. Volunteers allowed lots of "do overs" and all children received prizes.
Rebecca Schwab and Angela Arroyo supervised the children at the duck pond, prompting the children to find the ducks with an "x" on the bottom. Margret Bache, 2, seemed to like the water better than the ducks. Nevertheless, Schwab gave her a flowered necklace.
Briana Talton, 6, tossed a hula hoop over a large wooden animal under the watchful eye of volunteer Tara Buchanan. After a few tries Briana improved her accuracy.
Robin Campbell watched the dart game. She encouraged the children to toss the darts more gently so they would stay on the target.
Parents were happy with the carnival. Ashley Caruso who brought her sons, Nic, 3, and Ben, 16 months to the event said, "We love the library. Our favorite part is visiting Toro, the tortoise."
Meanwhile BaBa the clown was inside the library in the children's area creating animals and decorations from balloons for children. Elephants, giraffes, dogs, bracelets, and Jedi lightsabers were all popular.
Joe Askar, 6, but going into second grade, was excited to receive a blue Jedi lightsaber. His sister, Julia, 3, was happy with her green bracelet, while brother Thomas, 5, settled for a green animal. Janvier Ayers, 3, got an orange giraffe to match his shirt. Their mom Susan supervised them.
The line to BaBa was long but the children were well-mannered while waiting their turn. A picture of the items available helped them choose before arriving at the front of the line. After receiving her balloon animal Julia Price, 7, thanked BaBa without any prompting.
Dekoff said, "BaBa is the biggest attraction. She always has a long line, and is the last one to finish."
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