By Delaney Runge
Families flocked to the Kent County Public Library on Friday, Oct. 20 to take part in the Harvest Time Apple Fest, complete with apple activities like treats, smoothies, and crafts.
Director of Youth Services at the library Honey Raines, who oversees youth programming, is the reason that the library has Apple Fest. She first came up with the idea last year.
“It started because I thought it’d be a lot of fun to do an apple cider program,” Raines said. “We thought, you know, why don’t we go bigger? Why don’t we make it a whole festival kind of style?”
This year is the second time the library held this event. Some aspects have stayed the same such as a partnership with 4-H, who brought their smoothie bike to make apple smoothies for all to enjoy, having apple crafts for all ages, and, of course, apple cider for everyone to taste.
River Arts, an arts organization in Kent County, participated in Apple Fest by providing their own apple craft to the mix.
“The library reached out and asked if we wanted to be a part of it and we always love being a part of community events,” Arts Education Coordinator at River Arts Kris Kelly ’11 said. “Of course, crafts and projects are one of the things that we do, so we thought of doing this fun art project and thought this would be a great thing that really any age could do.”
For Kelly’s craft, participants took a paper apple and marbles that they dipped in paint and put it in a plastic jar. Then, crafters would shake the jar to make a marble effect on the apple.
“I think it’s a really fun kind of tactile thing for anybody to do,” Kelly said. “You’re not just painting, you’re not just drawing on it. It’s a little bit more interactive and sensory as well.”
Library Services Assistant Olivia Coleman ran the library-sponsored craft table with apple bookmarks and an apple core craft.
Crafting took place inside the library, but the Apple Fest activities spanned to the outside patio as well, where the 4-H had their smoothie bike. Lockbriar Farms also brought apples for caramel apples and apple cider.
Attendee Brandy Layton and her family come to the library at least once a week. Since they already frequent it so often, Layton determined that Apple Fest would be a nice event to bring her kids to for something to do.
“I just think that it’s nice that [the library has] a lot of different events,” Layton said. “Especially in an area where you’re kind of in the middle of nowhere. So, there’s not always a lot of things to do.”
Raines also expressed the importance of library events like Apple Fest as the seasons change and spending time outside is not always an option.
“[Apple Fest is] great for the community because it’s a fun event,” Raines said. “There’s not always lots to do in town especially when it starts to get a little bit colder. So just to be able to provide this fun service for the community is really enjoyable for us. It helps us get people to the library to be able to promote our services.”
To get more information on the public library services in Kent County and their events, go to www.kentcountylibrary.org/. Students can also sign up for a library card for free.
Photo by Delaney Runge
Photo Caption: The library hosts events throughout the year, including a Halloween double feature on Friday, Oct. 27 at 4:30 p.m.