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SLO County Public Libraries hosts Día del Niño festival in San Miguel Park 

Children are a fun, energetic, and sometimes cranky part of our community, and the county is holding a day of festivities to celebrate them.

On April 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the County of SLO Public Libraries will host a Día del Niño Festival in San Miguel Park.

First celebrated in Mexico in 1924, Día del Niño, which translates to children's day, is on the last day of April every year to celebrate children and childhood.

County Libraries Engagement and Marketing Coordinator Erica Thatcher told New Times that the festival is a great way for families in the community to celebrate children and encourage curiosity and learning.

click to enlarge FIRE TRUCK TOUR SLO County firefighters will offer families a chance to climb in and on their trucks during the county library's Dia del Niño Festival at San Miguel Park on April 27. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ERICA THATCHER
  • Photo Courtesy Of Erica Thatcher
  • FIRE TRUCK TOUR SLO County firefighters will offer families a chance to climb in and on their trucks during the county library's Dia del Niño Festival at San Miguel Park on April 27.

"There will be a petting zoo and trucks available for kids and grownups to climb in and climb on," she said.

The petting zoo will consist of one special kind of critter—chickens—that children can safely pet or hold. While chickens might be the shining star of land animals at the event, touch tanks from the Central Coast Aquarium will debut local sea life as well.

"Families will be able to actually reach in and hold the animals while a docent explains ... what they're experiencing," Thatcher said. "This is a really cool opportunity because the aquarium is actually in Avila Beach, so that's a long trip from North County to get out there to see something like this. It's great that we can bring it."

And if hunger strikes halfway through the event, then attending the Día del Niño jam-making class might be the best course of action. However, Thatcher recommends that families wanting to participate in both the touch tanks and the jam making come to the event early, as there will be a limited number of spots available.

"Tickets are required for [jam making] and for the touch tank," she said. "It's just to control the amount of people who are up at the tank at one time. The tickets will have a time assigned to them."

Other events include local ballet folklórico performances, a BMX bike show from 3 to 4 p.m., and the opportunity to explore all the bells and whistles of fire trucks and other county work trucks. And Thatcher said that First 5 may have a table and another community agency or two will have informational booths.

Kids will also get to meet Piggie and Gerald starting at 1 p.m. Thatcher said Piggie and Gerald are the main characters of picture books created by writer and illustrator Mo Willems.

The books follow two friends, an antsy elephant, Gerald, and a bubbly pig, Piggie, through adventures highlighting the importance of friendship amid the uncertainties of life.

"They're so popular with kids; they're like modern classics," Thatcher said. "Library staff will be wearing life-sized costumes, and I think the kids will really enjoy that."

Thatcher said library staff across SLO County feel that this is important because kids deserve a day of fun and recognition, so to honor that, the event will be free to attend.

"I think it makes sense for the library to be a part of a Child's Day celebration," she said. "We want everyone to experience learning and library joy."

Fast fact

• Tamale lovers will want to make their way over to Downtown Atascadero on May 3 and 4 to attend the Tamale Festival from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on both days. The event will kick off on Fiesta Friday where community members can enjoy shopping, live music, and fireworks. The event is free to attend and the mouth-watering tamales are available for purchase. For more information on the event, visit atascaderochamber.org. Δ

Reach Staff Writer Samantha Herrera at [email protected].

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