ATTENDANCE TOPS 200 AT RANCHO SAN DIEGO LIBRARY’S FIRST ‘WINTERFEST’

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Next up: Star Wars Day Dec. 12

Photo, left: “Snow Queen” from Parties Unique company greets a miniature, costumed Elsa from “Frozen” during Winterfest at the San Diego County Library Rancho San Diego Branch on Dec. 5, 2015

Story and photos by Megan Just

December 8, 2015 (Rancho San Diego) − Though it’s been two years since the release of Disney’s “Frozen,” Elsa and Anna still have the power to draw a crowd.  In this case, the princesses, played by performers from the Parties Unique company, were the headliners of Winterfest at the San Diego County Library, Rancho San Diego Branch, on Saturday afternoon.

The festival, which included cookie decorating, holiday crafts, an ugly sweater contest, an instant-print photo booth, and two princess-led sing-along performances, drew a crowd of more than 200 children and accompanying adults.

“We wanted to promote books and our library services in a fun community gathering before everyone leaves for vacation,” Veronica Estrada, a youth services librarian and the event’s organizer.

Estrada said that in addition to encouraging early literacy for children, events like Winterfest show that the library isn’t a dull, quiet space; rather, it's a diverse place of learning that is something to get excited about.

The branch’s librarians made sure the book displays were well-stocked in advance of the event with materials that would appeal to attendees. “Frozen” DVDs, “Frozen” soundtrack CDs, and “Frozen” spin-off picture books and early chapter books were never more than an arm’s reach away.

The number of people bringing books home and the number of books checked out is notably more on event days, said Estrada, who hopes the library will be able to make Winterfest an annual tradition in Rancho San Diego.. 

The library’s next events are on Dec. 12 with a Star Wars Day celebration from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and the fifth workshop in the “Like a Boss: Tricks and Tips for Mastering Adulthood” series at 3:30 p.m.  Visit the library’s website for a full calendar of children’s programming, adult groups, and upcoming special events.

Photo, right: Dhamar Aviles, a volunteer, shows a 3-year-old girl how to use the reindeer nose prop for the Winterfest photo backdrop