Elizabethton comes together to celebrate Seuss’s birthday Saturday

Published 9:13 am Friday, March 1, 2019

The Elizabethton/Carter County Library has hosted events related to Dr. Seuss’s birthday for at least a decade and a half, but this year, they decided to expand the program a little bit. What they got back was something far grander than they anticipated.

Children’s Librarian Ashlee Williams said they have always been hosting events like this.

“We have so much fun here doing this, and we had so many ideas,” Williams said. “We decided we wanted to expand the program.”

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She and the other librarians reached out to the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation as well as a few local businesses to participate by hosting special events, giving out special items, etc. Quickly, she said the event grew larger than she anticipated.

“We just kept getting calls,” she said.

Before long, most of the city became involved in the celebration.

Organizations like the TLC Community Center will be selling T-shirts, Tweetsie Treats is doing something special and Building 520 said they were going to have the Lorax in their store. Carter County Drug Prevention will be teaching children how to make slime.

“Even the antique stores are excited,” Williams said. “I really would not have thought about them.”

The partnership is similar in scope to an orientation day at a university. Children will start at the library and receive a sheet of paper with a list of the businesses participating. Children who visit these businesses will receive a sticker or some kind of mark on their sheet, and those who manage to fill up their whole sheet can enter to win a special prize.

The event is part of a celebration of the late Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2. Seuss is most famous for his children’s literature that culture still remembers today, including Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, among a library’s worth of others.

The birthday celebration, Williams said, is meant to promote literacy among young people.

“Early literacy is so important,’ she said. “When children see their parents read, they are more likely to read themselves, and if you find a book children enjoy reading or make reading enjoyable, they are more likely to continue reading when they are older.”

The event will take place across Elizabethton for the entire day Saturday, lasting as long as the businesses’ store hours. She said parents do not have to stay the entire day, however.

“People can make a day out of it or not,” Williams said. “They can spend as much time or as little time as they want.”

The library opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and will close at 8 p.m. that day.

“We just want everyone to read,” Williams said.