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Library's Lamanpalooza gives books the bounce

By Jennifer Nixon

This article was published July 31, 2014 at 2:02 a.m.

bounce-houses-are-a-key-part-of-the-fun-at-lamanpalooza-a-wholesome-family-friendly-celebration-presented-by-the-william-f-laman-public-library-system-this-years-event-will-be-at-the-newly-reopened-argenta-branch

Bounce houses are a key part of the fun at Lamanpalooza, a “wholesome, family-friendly” celebration presented by the William F. Laman Public Library System. This year’s event will be at the newly reopened Argenta Branch.

Lamanpalooza

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, William F. Laman Public Library Argenta Branch, 420 Main St., North Little Rock

Admission: Free

(501) 687-1061

lamanlibrary.org

What better way to celebrate a summer of achievement (or unproductive loafing) than with a few leaps in a bounce house?

The William F. Laman Public Library System in North Little Rock invites everyone to put down the books and e-readers and instead get outside for some jumping, dancing, munching and zip lining at the annual Lamanpalooza on Saturday.

"We would have done it the second weekend in August, but we didn't want to fight James Taylor," says Dan Noble, the library's public relations manager, referring to next weekend's Verizon Arena show.

The event began as a combination open house for the newly renovated library and a celebration of the library's Summer Reading Program.

"Then it got so big and everybody just loved it, so we just made it a main event," Noble says.

This year, though, the festival is temporarily moving from the main library to the Argenta Branch on Main Street. The branch reopened in April after a major $2.8 million renovation, and Lamanpalooza will shine a spotlight on the new facility.

"Maybe people that don't know it's even down there or people that haven't been there, they'll be like, 'Oh, there's that new branch they've got!' That's the focus of it," Noble says.

Not that the event will be inside. All that activity and noise would violate the library's code of conduct.

Instead, the big celebration will be in the parking lot behind the library, where it should be fully visible.

"They're going to see the bouncy castle," Noble promises. "They'll see the bouncers from the interstate."

Little readers can jump away their pent-up energy in the multiple bounce houses that will fill the parking lot this year, one of the highlight activities in an event that Noble predicts will be "massive."

Bounce houses may be a big hit, but there's another activity that Noble predicts will draw a crowd: a 100-foot zip line.

"I don't know if many people will be able to do it because staff is already signing up!" he jokes.

They've also planned for Jim Tindall caricatures; Marty Boone, "The Balloon Man" and games and crafts for families.

People shouldn't go away hungry. Thanks to a donation, the first 2,000 people who visit the hot dog stand will get a free hot dog.

Lamanpalooza has become very popular in a few short years and Noble says it's already drawing community interest and excitement, and attendance should easily break 2,500. While it's a celebration of the Summer Reading Program, which ended July 26, it's open to everyone, whether or not they read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 or Frog and Toad Together.

"It's just a staple thing we love to do," he says. "It's very cheap, being that it's free. It's a good last little adventure before everybody heads back to school."

One thing Lamanpalooza won't have is book time.

Noble says with a laugh, "We've read them enough."

Weekend on 07/31/2014

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