The first Harry Potter book is now 21 years old and it’s time to celebrate.
From 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 30, the Friends of the Elkhart Public Library will be hosting Harry Potter 21, an all ages event celebrating all things Harry Potter on High Street, outside of the downtown library.
There will be trivia from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., a costume/cosplay contest at 6:30 p.m. and local Harry Potter band Neville’s Diary will take the stage at 7 p.m.
Food vendors Mini Delight’s Bake Shoppe Hotdogeddy’s, ParmaJacos, Kona Ice and Maple Indian Cuisine will be serving up food while cold beer will be on tap from Iechyd Da’s dragon wagon.
“The story is coming of age, so we thought ‘why not throw a party,'” said EPL community engagement coordinator Jill Yoder.
The alley across High Street from the library will serve as the Potter universe’s Diagon Alley, with vendors offering wand making and a real magician showing some tricks, among other activities.
“We wanted to do it on the street in front of our spot downtown. The opportunity to use the alley down to Mini Delights as a Diagon Alley was too good to pass up,” said Yoder.
Centier Bank will serve as Olivander’s Wand Shop and Gringott’s, Potawatomi Zoo will substitute for Eeylop’s Owl Emporium by providing a live owl and other creatures, Stephenson’s will be Madame Malkin’s, selling special t-shirts and Barnes and Noble serving as Flourish and Blotts. Froggy 102.7 FM and Abracadabra Magic will be there as well.
“We tried to pick vendors for Diagon Alley that fit in with the book,” Yoder said.
Entrances to the festival will be at High and Main streets, Second and High streets, the north end of the alley between Lexington and High streets, near the art alley and another near the alley entrance off High Street.
“You only get a chance to celebrate the 21st once,” she said.
While residents are out enjoying the summer weather, they can check out our materials and browse the collection with our pop-up library program.
From 11 a.m. to noon, library materials and staff will be available on select Fridays at McNaughton Park, 701 Arcade Ave. in Elkhart this summer.
Come by and check out the materials, including CDs, DVDs and books, update or sign up for a library card and learn more about the libraries programs. Patrons can also return items to the pop-up library.
The most famous logo in the sports world earned the artist $50. Ted Drake’s legacy, though, is priceless and goes far beyond the Notre Dame leprechaun.
This summer, the Elkhart County Historical Museum is celebrating the late Elkhart artist and illustrator with a special exhibit at Elkhart Public Library’s downtown location. Original artwork, reproductions and photos will be accompanied by interpretive materials throughout the library June 1-July 27.
A special gallery talk by archivist Amy Christiansen will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 12, in the downtown library atrium.
Museum staff prepared the exhibit with financial support of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County.
And, yes, the famous leprechaun drawn in 1964 will be on display.
“Elkhart has a strong connection with the arts, and this exhibit tells the story of a local man whose works became known around the world,” says Amy Christiansen, research archivist for the Elkhart County Historical Museum. “We hope this exhibit adds to the appreciation of Drake’s distinctive style and inspires people to learn more about local history.”
Elkhart Public Library became the perfect spot to showcase the collection. Two large Drake wood carvings – rare examples of his work in this medium – hang in the atrium on either side of the High Street windows. And, while the old entry into the children’s room from Second Street was removed during a recent building renovation, a Drake-painted mural celebrating human innovation is preserved in the storytime room.
Other famous works by the Elkhart artist include the Chicago Bulls logo, portraits of professional and amateur golfers commissioned by the PGA, cartoons drawn during his service in World War II, and television graphics for the children’s show, “Kukla, Fran and Ollie.” Drake, who died in 2000 at the age of 92, also enjoyed creating landscapes and works depicting Amish culture.
Because Reading Rocks and all, Elkhart Public Library is giving you a chance to see professional musicians on a different stage – storytime!
At 4 p.m. Thursdays starting June 14, we’re delivering some familiar names to play a couple of numbers and read a story. These all-ages storytimes will be free and fun for all, taking place in the atrium of our downtown location, 300 S. Second St., Elkhart.
The June lineup:
* June 14 – Zach DuBois, Nashville-based singer-songwriter who currently has a song, “Pray for Rain,” at No. 5 on the weekly CMT video countdown;
* June 21 – Dave Bennett, a dazzling performer who draws a crowd everywhere he plays during the Elkhart Jazz Festival; and
* June 28 – Anna Hagen, the elegant harpist who has released three albums and plays both solo and with the Elkhart County Symphony.
The July performers will be announced soon.
Reading Rocks, this year’s summer reading program presented by Welch Packaging, is showcasing the ways music and books are connected. Kids can read what they want, and enter to win prizes they want – including tickets to see Taylor Swift in concert, a Nintendo Switch, and Elkhart County 4-H Fair experiences.
For complete info and info on other live performances, visit ElkhartRocks.com.
The 2018 Summer Reading program will offer exciting prizes that live up to the “Reading Rocks” theme.
Two grand prize winners will win tickets for them and a guest to attend Taylor Swift’s Indianapolis show on Sept. 15 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Hotel accommodations provided by Edgerton Travel are included as well. A third grand prize winner will win a Nintendo Switch. In addition to the grand prizes kids and teens will have a chance to win other prizes – including Elkhart County 4-H Fair wristbands and ukuleles.
Summer Reading begins May 21 at all locations and ElkhartRocks.com.
There will be plenty of fun activities at all EPL branches around the summer reading program including karaoke, live music, crafts and more.
According to Children’s Librarian Chuck Pieri, summer reading is important for young readers to avoid the ‘summer slide,’ that loss of knowledge that occurs over the long summer break from school.
“Reading every day is an important part of education and brain development and kids sometimes read less in the summer, so this will give them an incentive,” Pieri said.
Summer reading will kick off with Eric Litwin’s appearance at Elkhart Community Schools May 15-17 and culminate with a celebration and awarding of the Taylor Swift prize packs on Thursday, July 19 at the Pierre Moran branch.
Kids and teens can participate in summer reading by reading as many books as they can. To enter the grand prize drawings they can submit a written or video book review as often as every week.
To encourage reading every day, kids will also have the chance to track their reading progress with reading chains. Earn a bead for every day you read!
According to Children’s Librarian Allison McLean, summer reading is a win-win because it allows to kids to read what they want while still keeping up on their literacy skills.
“When kids have a choice of what they want to read, they read more and are more excited about it. Summer is a great time to read whatever you want just for the fun and joy of reading,” she said.
Keeping children engaged in reading is an important part of developing a lifelong love of reading to continue development and education.
The grand prizes and fun activities are sure to make this summer one to remember.
“It’s going to be a rockin’ summer,” said Pieri.