Saturday, December 6, 2014

Caroling in the Library 2014

This was the 8th year the Perry Branch Library in Gilbert, AZ has put on this big event.  This event was created by my colleague Allison Burke several years ago and I've shared in the joy and hard work of pulling this off ever since.  Every year we make improvements and small changes, but the program is solid at this point with lots of the same key players involved.  Allison got a well-deserved promotion with another District last year, so this year I had to use a LOT of elbow grease to get all the coordinating, planning, and organizing done.... but man, was it worth it!

Attendees: 1,300 (That's on the conservative end)


Snowman Cookie Decorating:
Cookies decorated: 470

Thanks for the home-made cookies, Perry High School Culinary students and your amazing, hard-working instructor, Angela Stutz!

The cookie decorating room:

 Culinary students hard at work prepping the cookies:


 You'll see this little guys a few more times in this post!
 We moved the line along very fast this year by inviting the kids to decorate in the main area of the library if they didn't want to wait for a decorating table in the meeting room.

For the kids who did wait, I put out sidewalk chalk (hand wipes available on the way in), a bubble machine, and had a very sprightly elf give the kids blue snowflake stamps on their hands (or cheeks).  So Elsa!

30 dozen cookies
15 gallons of hot chocolate
 Again, thank you Angela Stutz and culinary students!
 Elf Station:  
The children visited with our lovely Perry elves to write over 300 letters to Santa (will get email responses), take pictures, and get create-your-own-Olaf stickers (see here)

 Elf Kara, Elf Mae, Elf Becca, Elf Ashley

 Told you these kids would pop up again.  They are mine all mine!

Thank you to Mr. Joe Little and the PHS choir!  You did a great job, especially performing in front of such a large and energetic audience!

Anna and Elsa Storytime:

Drum rolllll.... They were a hit.  I love, love, love, loved these two royal ladies.   They were honestly incredible and captured the audience and knew how to work the crowd and make every child feel special during pictures. 

I could not more highly recommend working with Gina Archer was WONDERFUL to work with, never a lapse in communication, and extremely reasonable to book considering she had to arrange for Anna and Elsa's travel which included a boat, a train, and a reindeer.  Oh, and reindeer food.

The read a book about being sisters:
 This is what 1,300+ audience in our humble library looks like:
 They sang 3 songs....
 ...and invited all the kids to stand and do the arm movements.  Those kids belted out every song!

And they humored me by letting me build Olaf with them using the flannel pieces I made.  Olaf stands about 45" tall.  

Anna started by singing, "Do you want to build a snowman?" and I built Olaf as they narrated back and forth.  

Of course he had to try on a few noses before finding the right one.

I don't have a picture of this, but I gave Elsa a whole bowl of fake snow to create a "personal snow flurry" for Olaf and it made a mess but WAS SO WORTH IT!.  She threw snow all over Olaf and into the audience.  The kids were collecting it and making snow angels in it after the program was over! 

Pictures with Elsa and Anna

 The amazing staff who helped pull it all off.  I apologize to my co-workers who played a huge role in helping, but did not end up in the picture.

I already have more plans for next year!  I'll see you then!