Hundreds of happy children attended the Calimesa Library Summer reading Kickoff Carnival on June 16.
There were carnival-like games and activities, refreshments, a cakewalk and face painting and it was all for free.
Kelly Miller, mother of three, said it was an anticipated event. “They have been waiting for this all week,” she laughed.
Gracie Miller was happy to win a chocolate cake from the popular cakewalk.
Madison Shuey said the best part of the day was making and eating cotton candy.
Alyson Hamlin, branch librarian said, “This is a really fun event. We have 16 volunteers and we couldn’t do this without all of them. It is wholesome fun and free for all the kids. It’s also the kickoff to our summer reading program.”
Hamlin said there is a student “summer slide” on reading retention during the summer. The loss of learning can be prevented with reading and the library offers rewards for its summer reading program, said Hamlin.
Danniel Hayworth, 9, said although she loved the cotton candy and the beanbag toss, she liked signing up for the reading program, too.
“I like to read,” she said. “I like Ramona books.”
The 2017 Summer Reading Program goes on now through Aug. 5.
In addition to its reading program, the Calimesa Library offers a series of free summer shows for youth. All shows take place on Friday afternoons at 2 p.m.; June 23, the library will feature STEAM, a musical puppet show. June 30 will be CHAZZ and its modern Drum Circle; July 14, Christopher T. Magician and the not-so traditional magic show; July 28, Teresa Smith and African dance; Aug. 4, Pacific Animal Productions, Exotic Animal show.
The Calimesa Library is located at 974 Calimesa Blvd. in Calimesa. The hours are Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday Noon to 8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sunday and Monday).
For more information, call the library at 795-9807.