|People lined up at the windows to watch.|
I work in the "Christmas Card Town" and the annual parade is a big deal. We have a tradition of starting to talk about whether we should participate around October and then decide by November that we don't have enough time. We had a float once, due to a staff member having access to antique cars, and it was an insane amount of work, plus the weather was pretty miserable. Last year, I came up with the idea to just stay open late - the banks of windows in the children's area face directly onto the main route - and open our back door so people could easily come in and out, using the restrooms etc. A staff member made hot chocolate, we had crafts, and a volunteer made cookies. This is the second year we've done it and I had two volunteers from the Friends handling the cookies and hot chocolate this year. It was a little time-consuming to clean up, because I have a group meeting in the Storyroom on Monday so we had to clean and reset it instead of just closing the door and calling it a day.
We get a lot of regulars but also people who don't normally visit the library stop by and get a look at things
Staff: 1 person at the information desk, 1 circulation assistant, 1 person to staff the craft room, 1 to oversee (me), at least 2 volunteers to make and serve cookies and hot chocolate. I book our community center so the parking lot is free.
It saves a lot of time to set up the Storyroom with the crafts the day before. People are perfectly happy with coloring sheets, but I usually include wire stars, beads, pipe cleaners, yarn, etc.
12:30 Start the hot chocolate, move tables away from windows, open the room for crafts, unlock the Storyroom door and post signs on it inviting people in.
We went through 4 cans of chocolate, 125 cups, and I'm not sure about the cookies - the Friends were in charge of those and the number was just right because there were only a handful left (turns out they used almost 10 dozen, so about 12 dozen next year would be safe). There are some old coffee pots we use, but they are going to borrow some that are easier to use next year. Napkins and marshmallows are nice to have too.
The parade starts at 1:30 and gets to our windows about 1:45. People were pretty much done with the hot chocolate etc. and the Friends closed it down at 2:15. The parade went until nearly 2:45 and then lots of people came back in to warm up, use the restroom, or hang out in the play area. We close at 3 (an hour later than usual) and it took about 30 minutes to clean up the Storyroom. Usually we'd just leave it until Monday. Somewhere between 100 and 150 people came through.
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