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Fun Palace packs library's halls

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FUN PALACE: Members of the Craft family including Payton, Logan, Ethan, and Tim, partake in the “create your own bookmark” craft station at HCTPL’s third annual Fun Palace on Sunday afternoon.
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SEALED: Devon Henderson,Communications Specialist at the Huntington library, led the Correspondence Corner area at the Fun Palace. Visitors could write letters and learn to seal an envelope with a wax seal stamp.
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DIY ROCK PAINTING: Dariah Villaseca pays close attention to details as she paintsa rock at one of the craft stations on Sunday morning. DIY rock painting was just one of several activities for HCTPL’s Fun Palace, which takes place on the first weekend of October every year.
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ARTS AND CRAFTS: Payton and Tim Craft work together to create a bookmarkduring the weekend’s Fun Palace event. 56 activities filled up almost every corner of the library including the parking lot for the library’s third annual event.

by James Ehle - jehle@h-ponline.com

Library staff and volunteers from around the community brought their skills, tools, and knowledge to the library’s third annual Fun Palace over the weekend.

Huntington county residents had an opportunity to try their hand 56 different crafts, activities, games, lessons, and other events at the Huntington City-Township Public Library (HCTPL) Fun Palace.

“We’ve got several library patrons that have volunteered to help us out either today to teach a class or to come in and man a station,” said Deborah Roy, Acquisitions at HCTPL. “We try to do something for every age group so that everybody finds something.”

Activities included create your own bookmark, Wii games and Oculus Rift virtual reality, bees and beekeeping, Indiana Room guided tours, Chinese tea ceremony, touch a fire truck, yoga for teens and adults, and falconry among others.

The event offered 56 activities - the most the library has offered since it first organized the Fun Palace event in 2017 - all for free.

“We just try to find things that people may have been interested in but may not have known how to try,” Roy said. “Especially because maybe they’d need to make an investment or buy supplies and materials.”

The volunteers for the event included library patrons, library staff, and members of the Boys and Girls Club. Each volunteer helped teach a class or man one of the many activity stations.

“Last year I did scrapbooking, our reference librarian Charlie is doing virtual reality, and yesterday our IT specialist did Minecraft,” Roy said.

The event filled up nearly every available room in the library with activities, including the halls, and extended outside to the library’s main parking lot. Activities were broken down for child activities, teen and adult activities, and all ages activities on Saturday and Sunday.

“We try to do something for every age group so that everybody finds something,” Roy said.

The Fun Palace originated in the United Kingdom, and was brought to HCTPL when a former employee thought it would be a good fit for library.

“People from all over the community bring their talents in to teach others for free for two days and it’s always the same weekend in October,” Roy said.

Huntington’s library is one of two or three libraries across the U.S. that hosts the Fun Palace event, and according to Roy, they were the first in the states.

“We were the first one in the U.S. three years ago,” Roy said. “We try to offer something a little bit different every year.”

HCTPL hosts the yearly Fun Palace event on the first weekend of October. The event is free and open to the community.