Fun had by all at library’s annual Family Fun Day

Ocean County Library Mascot Sparks the dragon, demonstrates some motor skills as he dances to the ‘Hokey Pokey’ during Family Fun Day at the Berkeley branch of the Ocean County Library on the afternoon of Feb. 1.

Ocean County Library Mascot Sparks the dragon, demonstrates some motor skills as he dances to the ‘Hokey Pokey’ during Family Fun Day at the Berkeley branch of the Ocean County Library on the afternoon of Feb. 1.

BERKELEY –  The laughter of children as they walked beside a large magenta dragon, a volunteer reading a story to a group of youngsters and the clatter of a contest wheel were among the sounds heard during a special event on Feb. 1.

The Berkeley branch of the Ocean County Library held its annual Family Fun Day from 1 to 3 pm throughout the building. The event was sponsored by the Friends of the Berkeley Library.

Marie Goione, who serves as president of the Friends group, said that “this event has been going on since 1999. We have 15 members of our organization helping out today. This is a very popular event that also includes help from the library staff and Teen Advisory Board members.’’

The Friends members held a bake sale during the day and sold bags of books for only $4 and children’s books for a dollar each. All funds brought in were used toward defraying the cost of the program which included games, prizes, an exercise program with Sparks, the library system’s popular dragon mascot, face painting and story time sessions.

“The Bayville area has five nursery schools and we have always received great cooperation from the school system in getting the message out about this event,’’ Goione said.

“Everyone pitched in and helped out,” Branch Manager Christina Estlow said. “I want to thank all our staff and the volunteers that were involved.’’

Sparks provided two lessons of motor skills with exercise and a bit of dancing.

Many children were seen holding balloon animals or prizes they won inside the branch’s meeting room which featured a variety of games.

Five-year-old Dean Palermo enjoyed having his face painted at a station based in the children’s section of the library.

“We’ve come out to this before and he always enjoys it. A lot of the parents who come with their children enjoy it to,’’ his father Luke Palermo, Berkeley, said.

Dean Palermo, 5, of Berkeley shows off his face painting as he stands beside his dad Luke Palermo during Family Fun Day which drew a large crowd to the Berkeley branch of the Ocean County Library on the afternoon of Feb. 1.

Dean Palermo, 5, of Berkeley shows off his face painting as he stands beside his dad Luke Palermo during Family Fun Day which drew a large crowd to the Berkeley branch of the Ocean County Library on the afternoon of Feb. 1.


Every child left with at least one prize.

Every child left with at least one prize.


Family Fun Day 2

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