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Little buckaroos — and a zillion balloons

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Posted: Monday, August 27, 2012 11:12 am

My fingers are still slightly sore.

We held our first literacy fair Saturday, "The Little Buckaroos Reading Roundup," and it was a blast.

I greeted buckaroos and their families for the first hour or so, then drifted to the helium tank and a job as balloon inflater.

The buckaroos quickly went through our inventory of balloons, so it was up to Cheryl Breech and I to try to meet the crushing demand.

A throng of little balloon fanciers gathered, as I inflated, tied, and passed them to Cheryl, who attached string and handed them out.

"I want a pink one." "Can I get three?" "Mine popped." "I want a bigger one."

We worked in a bit of a panic, Cheryl keeping a great pace, me just trying to keep up.

My fingers started getting pretty sore from all the bending and tying of balloons. It was well worth the digital balloonitis, though.

We're still working on final attendance figures, but the event was a smash. Hundreds, maybe thousands of youngsters came out with their family members to ride ponies, gather up complimentary books, listen to storytellers — and get a free balloon.

A great, family-oriented vibe with reading as the theme.

Cheryl's hubbie, Peter, our circulation sales manager, did a ton of organizing for this, as did Cyndi Carter, our Newspaper in Education coordinator. Nancy Martinez and her crew at the Lodi Public Library helped pull it all together.

Thanks to all the organizers, the volunteers, and the little buckaroos for a wonderful event.