Someplace to play on a rainy day

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2006

After two years of renovations, Demopolis Public Library director Lindsy Gardner and children’s librarian Connie McPherson welcomed a large crowd of toddlers and their guardians to witness the official grand opening of the library’s children’s area.

“I am shocked by the turnout with this weather,” McPherson said about the rainy Monday afternoon as she looked around the room, “but I think the program was great.”

The afternoon began with a performance from Bob Parsons and his Walk-About Puppets. Parsons’ show featured his puppets as performers in a circus, which couldn’t have been more fitting for the day.

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“It was great. The kids laughed so much and you could tell they had a great time,” Gardner said. “I really enjoyed myself, so I know they enjoyed themselves.”

After the students enjoyed almost an hour of Parsons’ show, it was time for them to run wild and experience the newness of their very own play area.

“I think the space is working out really well,” McPherson said as she looked at the children enjoying their new colorful furniture. “I thought the tables would be in the way of the children and the performers, especially during the Summer Reading Program, but we are going to be fine.”

Spacing was no issue for Parsons, who had enough room to set up his small circus set and puppet-hiding curtain.

“I’ve been coming here pretty regularly, so I jumped at the chance to be the first performer in the new area,” Parsons said. “This is a very unique library and in comparison to others this is a very special setup.”

But Parsons and his puppet pals weren’t the only special visitors at the library yesterday. They also had the opportunity to meet Alabama Power’s Louie the Lightning Bug during the reception hour that followed Parsons’ act.

“I really want to thank Alabama Power for providing the food, the manpower to distribute the food and Louie the Lightning Bug,” Gardner said.

“Demopolis is a very active community,” Parsons said, “and it is very lucky to have this space.”

If you missed Parsons and his puppets, or just want to see them again, he will be back at the Demopolis Public Library on June 1 for a storytelling performance.