Open House crowds fill Fort Smith Public Library

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 54 views 


Residents of Fort Smith and surrounding communities took advantage of a beautiful sunny afternoon to celebrate the holiday season at the Fort Smith Public Library Main Branch’s 9th Annual Holiday Open House held Sunday (Dec. 11) from 1 to 5 p.m.

The event was free to the public, but donations of a non-perishable food item was encouraged for the Holiday Food Drive. The afternoon was filled with festive music, crafts, games, stories, holiday displays, light refreshments, and other entertainment for children, as well as adults. Santa was also present and pictures with Santa were free.

Last year’s event saw 1,500 children and adults take advantage of this free event with hopes of more coming this year. At times, there were no parking spaces in the parking lot and guests had to park in nearby business parking lots.

As each guest came into the library, they were given a Holiday Treasure Hunt map. They were encouraged to visit each library department and receive a mark on their treasure map. Clues to find each area were listed on the back of the Holiday Treasure Hunt, and library staff members were also available if anyone needed assistance. Once the map was completed, it could be turned in at the Check Out Desk to get a holiday treat and a chance to win a prize.

Each area in the library had an activity for the children, as well as adults. Activities included animal balloons with Carolyn Baker, color scratch ornaments with the Youth Services Department, holiday sticker craft and treat with Windsor Drive Branch staff, a cake walk, bean bag toss game hosted by the Technical Services Department, and paperback book Christmas tree craft demo with Friends of the Library. Refreshments of hot chocolate, hot apple cider and cookies, and popcorn and punch were also available served by various staff members of the library.

Dewey’s Cafe featured performers throughout the afternoon in thirty minute increments. The St. Boniface Rhythm Band, which consisted of kindergartners, first and second graders, was the first to perform Christmas songs. Peter Lippincott sang and played guitar from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Other performances by St. Boniface Spirit Squad and Lifesong Dance were performed in the community room. River Blenders Barbershop Chorus went around the library singing Christmas songs. Permagrin Band performed at Dewey’s Cafe from 4 until 4:30 p.m.