Check out the library for holiday events

The Forest Public Library is gearing up for a December to remember with holiday activities for the young and young at heart. According to Forest Librarian Dianne McLaurin, the library is offering free events throughout the month, beginning with the arrival of The Polar Express on Friday night, December 1!
The library will extend normal operating hours on Friday evening before the Forest Christmas Parade. The parade starts at 6:00 p.m., and the library will be showing the Christmas movie, The Polar Express, from 4:00 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. The library staff will also be serving hot chocolate in the library foyer, as children exit the library and head out to the parade.
Restrooms will be available to the public from 5:00-7:00 p.m. “Last year, we noticed that people arrived in town early for the parade; however, they had little to do while they waited. We want parents and children to arrive early, find a great parking place, and come inside the library to watch a classic Christmas movie. We have chosen the children’s book The Polar Express as the library theme for this year, and we are so excited about the themed displays and events,” McLaurin stated.
Following the Friday night movie, the library is hosting The Polar Express Breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning, December 2, at 9:00 a.m. The library is partnering with Popeye’s in Forest who will be providing biscuits for the children in attendance. Area children are invited to enjoy breakfast, snap a picture with Santa Claus, prepare a Christmas craft, and check out the library’s extensive collection of Christmas books.
Youth Services Librarian Brandi Parker invites all children to attend this year’s breakfast. “In the past, we have charged admission to Breakfast with Santa; however, thanks to an active Friends’ group and community business support, we are offering the program free of charge. We hope to provide a Christmas memory for as many kids as possible!”
The library is not forgetting the young at heart this Christmas with its second Back Door Event and its first annual holiday party! Bruce Cable’s Christmas Party is set for Tuesday, December 5, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The library will be closed, but the back door will be open. Attendees are asked to bring a list of their favorite books to exchange, wear their brightest Christmas colors to win a pink flamingo yard decoration, and enter to win a Bay Books Bundle valued at $100 as a door prize.
According to McLaurin, Bruce Cable is the flamboyant and charming main character of the book Camino Island by John Grisham. He is also the confident, yet shady, rare books collector and owner of the fictional Bay Books bookstore. “In August of this year, Forest Community Arts and Forest Public Library partnered for the Forest Reads One Book promotion. More than 100 Forest residents have participated in the community reads, and we are throwing those One Book readers a Cable-style holiday party to remember! We hope to make the back door Christmas party an annual tradition!”
Another library tradition that Forest residents look forward to each year is the Friends of the Forest Public Library Silent Auction, which runs from December 1 through December 15. Businesses, craftsmen, and individuals donate items to the auction for two weeks of silent bidding. At the end of the two weeks, the top bidder for each item is notified in time for holiday gift-giving.
“We have the best merchandise in the silent auction, from university spirit items to specialty gifts to local business services, such as haircuts, spa treatments, manicures and more. Everyone who participates in the auction always looks forward to seeing what’s available each year.
“All proceeds of the auction go towards programming and library supplies for the upcoming year. The annual auction is a great way to show your support for the local library,” McLaurin explained.
Lackey Memorial Hospital is also partnering with the library for a wellness program set for December 6, at 4:00 p.m. The program targets Kindergarten-6th grade and offers tips on how to stay “Healthy for the Holidays”. Shelly Boone, CFNP, will provide the elementary school audience with age-appropriate information; however, parents are encouraged to attend and learn ways to avoid a doctor’s visit during the Christmas vacation.
“The library is a community source for healthy literacy, and we are looking forward to this important program. No child wants to be sick, especially during the holidays. We hope that a small dose of knowledge and prevention provides area kids with illness-free holidays,” Parker added.
And just for area teens, ages 13-18, the library is showing the recent DVD release, Wonder Woman, on Tuesday, December 12, at 4:30 p.m. The movie will be shown in the library meeting room, and popcorn will be served. Teens can also check out the library’s growing collection of Marvel and DC graphic novels.
Recurring library programs for the month of December include Preschool Story Time held every Wednesday at 11:15 a.m.; Tween Book Club set for Tuesday, December 5 at 4:00 p.m.; 2-TUE-2 adult book club held at 2:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday, December 12; and Forest Friends of the Library year-end get-together on Thursday, December 14, at 4:00 p.m. The Tween Book Club for grades 4th-6th are discussing the animal fiction books chosen at the November meeting, and the 2-TUE-2 adult book club are sharing their favorite holiday fiction books.
For more information call 601-469-1481. The Forest Public Library is a part of the Central Mississippi Regional Library System.