ALBANY — In a salute to the nearby Louisiana Renaissance Festival, the Albany-Springfield Branch of the Livingston Parish Library hosted its first Renaissance Festival Accessories crafts session for participants to create decorative pieces to be worn to the festival.

Reference librarian Amanda Adkins, who coordinated the Nov. 5 event, said the festival accessories program was a salute to the popular Renaissance Festival held every year just east of Hammond.

“We having been making an effort to connect with the community and we just thought that a tie-in to the Renaissance Festival was a natural. Many of our patrons enjoy the festival, and we saw this as a chance to let them get in a festive mood for this popular community event,” she said.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Renaissance Festival, which is open to the public the remaining weekends in November and the first two weekends in December. The festival is held on extensive grounds located on River Road off U.S. 190, east of Hammond.

The group of library patrons showing their creative talents gathered around several tables in the library’s meeting room and shared tips and ideas on how to create headbands, corsages and other accessories for the period dress appropriate for participation in the festival. The library provided an assortment of craft materials including wire, pipe stems, ribbons, headbands, feathers, bells, floral tape, hot glue guns and artificial flowers.

Levity marked the occasion as the participants shared humorous stories and discussed their appreciation for the Livingston Parish Library System.

Bill Tucker, a resident of Watson, said he and his wife made the trip to the Albany-Springfield Branch because they thoroughly enjoy the creative programs offered by the library. “I just enjoy coming to the library and learning new things. The staff at all the branches are so very friendly and so are the others who come to these programs. It’s always fun and entertaining. We have a great library system. I go to all the branches where programs like this one are being offered,” he said.

Karoline Tucker added, “I don’t go anywhere but the library. I don’t enjoy shopping and going to other places, but I love the library ... this is my second home.”

Sharon Prokop, working feverishly on an elaborate headpiece featuring many flowers, said, “Our library is fantastic. The branches offer so many opportunities to learn new things and to grow. The library always has something going on that teaches you a new skill. Besides, it’s a great place to meet others who share your interests. The library is very important to me.”

She added that she has shared her affection for the library with her children and grandchildren, especially a grandson, Brayden Prokop, whom she is currently helping to rear. “My grandson has grown up in the library. I have been taking him here since he was a little fellow and he’s now 10. He always finds something to do at the library and I hope he makes the library a part of his life when he grows up,” she said.