Oct. 30—It's Halloween weekend and children in costumes filled the Yuba County Library parking lot, jumping from booth to booth to participate in different Halloween-themed activities on Friday during the trick-or-treat event held by the library in Marysville.
"So last year, we did a drive-through event because we were trying to be compliant with the different COVID restrictions and it was fun, but we were hoping to have something where we could do more interaction with people," said Leah Madsen, senior library technician. "So that's kind of where we got the idea to do this, where we're able to have different agencies come out, share what's going on with them and what different programs they're providing."
Community organizations displaying activities for children were Playzeum, First 5 Yuba County, the Yuba County Office of Education and Yuba County Health and Human Services. To follow social distancing guidelines, the event was held outside and each booth was spread out among the closed parking lot, allowing children to roam freely to each booth. Masks were suggested and hand sanitizer was available for anyone.
"First 5, we're all about health and development for children zero to five and so we're out here and having fun at the library," said Ericka Summers, executive director for First 5 Yuba County.
First 5 informed parents of the free support they provide to families through local programs that provide services for families with children aged zero to five, said Summers. First 5 also hosted pumpkin decorating activities for children. With miniature hammers, kids were able to design a pumpkin by hammering small golf tees into the pumpkin.
"Kids want to be creative themselves and this activity works well on hand and eye coordination and it's something fun and easy that parents can do with their children if they choose to," said Summers. "When they take the pumpkin home, they could even carve it out and put a little lantern in it, and it'll glow with all the holes in it."
Besides providing a fun Halloween spinning wheel to kids, Yuba County Health and Human Services was also providing families with information about dental health, car and passenger safety and the dangers of smoking and vaping.
Playzeum brought giant bubble wands for kids to play with while families were informed on the different classes and events Playzeum holds.
The Yuba County Office of Education held a Minecraft zombie sensory game where the object of the game was for kids to find a diamond in the zombie's body to win a small prize. The agency was also doing some outreach and informing parents of the different programs they provide.
"The Yuba County Library created a little art center," said Madsen. "We have a bunch of different art projects that kids can do from just coloring or if they want to make a visor, a hat, a mask. We also put some chalk out and the nice thing is since the whole parking lot is blocked off, the kids can just color and design and make their artwork anywhere they want to in the parking lot."
Michelle Sanford brought her three sons to the event. With Halloween being a favorite time of year for them, her sons aged 8, 6 and 3, were ready to slip on their costumes and dress up for the event.
Sanford said her family tries to engage in community events any time they can. One of her kids' favorite events put on by the Yuba County Library has been the superhero event where her sons got to hang out around superheroes like Black Panther and Iron Man.
"It's good for the kids to get out and experience things in their community," said Sanford. "This event has different learning activities and holiday festivities. It's one of their favorites. Anytime that the community comes together and puts on an event, it just benefits everybody, the kids. It's great."