The approximately two-dozen youngsters participating in the annual Pumpkin Decorating Party at the Albany-Springfield Branch of the Livingston Parish Library System learned that there are more ways to prepare pumpkin-themed Halloween decorations than just painting one of the round, orange gourds so symbolic of the season.

The children attending the Oct. 7 party did paint, in bright and vivid colors, the pumpkins they had brought to the party. They also created paper towel roll pumpkins, three-dimensional cardboard pumpkins, and torn paper pumpkins. The materials used for creating the Halloween decorations were spread out on four tables where the various pumpkin projects could be assembled and decorated.

The first, and favorite, table was where the painting was conducted. In addition to a wide array of paint colors, the young decorators could add ribbon, plastic eyes, other decorations and use rubber stamps to add the ears and noses to the pumpkins.

At the paper towel pumpkin table the children created elongated pumpkins that were then painted and had hats, eyes and ears attached. The torn paper pumpkins were made by using glue sticks to affix many scrapes of multicolored paper to large drawings of pumpkins. Finally, the 3D pumpkins were made by piecing together in the proper sequence colorful cardboard pumpkin cutouts that when assembled to became round pumpkins.

Kellye Ray, youth coordinator for the Albany-Springfield Branch, said the pumpkin decorating party was the most popular youth program offered at the branch all year. “Children from this area just seem to really enjoy the pumpkin party. We always attract a large number of children and their parents. This is a lot of fun for the kids and for our staff. Halloween is about the children and this program shows how much they appreciate what we offer at this time of the year.”

Ray added that throughout the year the library system offers interactive participation programs for children, tweens, and teens at all the branches. “We still happily lend out books and other materials and encourage using the library for research and other purposes, but we strive to make our libraries more than just a place where books are kept. Today’s event is one more example of what we have to offer,” she said.

James Brown, busily painting his own pumpkin while assisting his young sister, Tinsley, said that he is a regular visitor to the library. “I love coming to the library and I have been coming here for a long time. I am now a student at Albany High School and I come to the library to explore books and to learn what I can while I am here. The library is important for me.”