ENCINITAS — Checking out books was almost an afterthought at the first anniversary celebration of the city’s premiere library Feb. 28.
“I came to participate in all of the activities that you usually don’t see at a library,” Jan Spade said. The local resident said there was something entertaining for all of her three children at the event. “My 4-year-old was fascinated with the stilt walkers, while I’ve got another one watching the Capoeira dancers,” she said.
In the midst of the various activities surrounding the celebration, neighbors gathered on the patio overlooking the ocean. “I still can’t believe this is our library,” Sarah Walker said as she surveyed the calm waters of the Pacific. “We really are unbelievably lucky as a city to have access to this kind of facility.”
Tours of the library highlighted the building’s ocean-inspired architecture and energy-saving features.
As the drum beat a rhythm of traditional Capoeria songs, members of the Capoeria Brasil group delighted onlookers with the combination of dance, culture and martial arts moves native to Brazil. The party moved outside the library doors while the dancers mixed with the stilt walkers towering overhead.
“This is amazing,” Dan Robbins said. “I thought there would just be a few storytelling sessions or something,’ he said. “My kids are going to be a little confused when we come back next week and this isn’t here,” he said pointing to a stilt walker dressed as a dragonfly.
The Dragon Knights Stilt Theater group put on quite a show combining puppets with stilt walking.
Other scheduled events included performances by Jack Tempchin and Rocket Science, Tunes and Tales with Nancy Saint John. Traditional storytelling with Captain Book and with children’s author Gretchen Wendel was also popular with the younger crowd.
County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, whose office donated considerable effort and money into the creation of the library, was proud of the community’s response. “I was so happy for its success,” she said.
A former Encinitas City Council member, her office funded the library’s computer literacy program. “That is a library that is a flagship for our entire library system,” she said. “I’m so glad that the city really stepped up the plate.”