Just Ducky Festival one for the books in Smyrna

SMYRNA –– Municipal Park on North Main Street in Smyrna will be filled with duck-themed activities Saturday for the first Just Ducky Festival.

The festival is hosted by the Friends of Duck Creek Regional Library, a volunteer-run organization that has worked for nearly a decade to spread awareness and raise funds for a new state-of-the-art library in Smyrna.

The festival will be the largest event the Friends have hosted –– they normally have smaller events throughout the year, including an annual August golf tournament at Garrisons Lake in Smyrna.

“We were doing a lot of small events and not making much progress. When I suggested doing one large event, I was really surprised and delighted by how many people in our community got very excited about the idea,” said Friends Board Director Ruth Ashby.

“Since we are the Friends of Duck Creek Regional Library and live in the Duck Creek area, something ducky just

The current Smyrna Public Library, at 107 S. Main St., is confined to a 2,500-square-foot space. The new library hopes to provide 10 times the room of the existing one. (Delaware State News file photo)

The current Smyrna Public Library, at 107 S. Main St., is confined to a 2,500-square-foot space. The new library hopes to provide 10 times the room of the existing one. (Delaware State News file photo)

seemed to fit.”

The Friends went from there, thinking of all their favorite aspects of fairs and festivals and how to make them all duck-themed.

Originally scheduled for May 21 but rained out, the Just Ducky Festival will kick off at 9 a.m. with a mini-parade and a 5K duck dash and waddle (fun walk and run, registration begins at 8 a.m.) followed by duck carving and calling competitions at 10 a.m. and noon.

Other activities throughout the day are a scavenger hunt, a dunking booth, face painting, a petting zoo, an old-fashioned duck pond, moon bounce, and corn hole. Arts and crafts, a yard sale and food vendors will be on site as well.

The need for a new library has been widely known since a 2007 assessment by the town of Smyrna from which the town created a needs assessment, that included a new library.

The current Smyrna Public Library, at 107 S. Main St., is confined to a 2,500-square-foot space and the new library is planned to be 25,000 square feet to accommodate the growing Smyrna population.

The population of the town grew 76.5 percent between the 2000 and 2010 census –– three times the rate of Kent County and five times the rate of the state.

The assessment also showed the median income is below $40,000 per year, not enough to guarantee children access to a computer, the internet and the books they need and want to read.

“Libraries help level the playing field so that we truly leave no child behind,” Ms. Ashby said.

The Friends anticipate to make substantial progress in the planning process in 2017 although no groundbreaking date has been set. Fundraising will continue with matching funds from the state and substantial grant funding.

For more information, visit www.duckcreekregionallibrary.org.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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