CLAYTON -- Those looking to get a head start on a romantic Valentine’s evening can look no further than the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library.
On Feb. 14, the library will host their first annual Valentine’s Day celebration from 4-7 p.m. in the Sybil Champion meeting room. Library director Christie Starnes promises an evening where you can “buy a treat for your sweet and then go out to eat.”
Local artisans and crafters will sell handmade gifts ranging from jewelry, glassware and artwork. While perusing vendor tables, guests will enjoy light hors d’oeuvres and the gentle strains of musical accompaniment from harp and flute players.
“This is something I would like to do every year,” explained Starnes. “I want people to remember the library always has a community event and fundraiser on this day to look forward to.”
There will also be a drawing for gift baskets from area merchants, including Eye of the Eagle Art Center and My Girlfriend’s Place salon. Tickets are $5 a piece and all proceeds will benefit the library’s popular annual summer reading program.
“We’re trying to raise awareness for local artists, businesses, literacy and love,” Starnes said. “We thought it would be a fun thing to bring to the community. The library is open that evening anyway so why not?”
The 2013 summer reading program will kick off on June 1 with an event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the library’s parking lot sponsored by Zaxby’s of Clayton. This year’s theme is “Dig into Reading.” Starnes said she would like to expand the program by gearing events to all age groups ranging from children through adult. The library relies on support from the Friends of the Library organization and she says this holiday fundraiser will add additional funding to attract bigger and better events.
“In the past, we have had lots of free programs for the public,” said Starnes. “This year we want to add some well-known authors and theatrical programming that the entire family can enjoy. We’re still learning what people are interested in.”
All day long on St. Valentine’s Day the library will also encourage patrons to select a book that will be wrapped in brown paper, obscuring the title. Starnes hope to get readers to fall in love will new reading material.
“You may not like it or you may love it,” she said. “We’re hoping to give our readers something they never expected to get.”
For more information on the Valentine’s Day event, contact Starnes at 919-359-9366.