If any of you had a desperate need to see a wallaby and a goat in the same cage, then you just missed out on the Pequot Library’s Autumn Festival. The Festival was held this past weekend, on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 2 – 4 p.m. It featured a petting zoo, a small children’s book sale, a fire truck and many fun games and crafts for kids of all ages to roll up their sleeves and get into! Oh… and did I mention they had free apple cider and apple cider donuts?
My roommates and I started our festival experience at Sono Bakery in downtown Southport. We weren’t sure what we were getting into, so any caffeine boost was a needed accessory to a day of mystery. With a dirty chai in hand, we drove just a bit up the street to the Pequot Library in Southport.
We walked up and were already surprised by the crowds. It was to be expected on a surprisingly warm day in early November, but it felt like every family with small children within a ten-mile radius showed up to the festival.
There was a volleyball net in the middle of the library’s “Great Lawn”, with children running around with balls and hula hoops and different athletic activities. We walked up a bit further and started to hear the live band, Merwin Mountain Band, play on the library’s steps. That with all the chattering of adults and children running around set the mood around us. There was a firetruck with some children checking it out and a little “Proof Pizza Van.” We didn’t grab any pizza but walked over to the table of volunteers handing out glasses of apple cider and apple cider donuts. Past that table was a whole collection of crafts for children to get involved in, a paper bag monster you could fill with popcorn, some pencil bat toppers and a trend full of fake tattoos.
It was around this time that I ran into a favorite Fairfield staff member of mine, librarian Lisa Thornell. Thornell was there with her two young daughters and we stood chatting for a bit as my roommates kindly waited in the donut line. With warm donuts in hand, we walked over and met Thornell’s seven-month-old daughter.
After all greetings were completed, we found our way over to the petting zoo portion of the festivities. One thing I’ll mention, before I get to the wallaby, is that there was a guessing game with pies that we decided not to participate in.
The animals were the real stars of the show. I wasn’t aware that wallabies could live in Connecticut, but here we were looking at one in a cage you’d train puppies in. It’d hop around the cage, disturbing the rabbits and goats shoved in the cage along with it. It was quite fun though, we didn’t wait in line to get in the cage, but we stood next to it to take some pictures and were lucky enough that a volunteer lifted up the goat with bad behavior (he was using his horns against the other animals) and kindly allowed us to pet it. I didn’t pet it, but my roommate basically stuck her fingers in his mouth, so there was something for everyone to do there.
We had our fill at that point, but I caught a look at a table filled with books around the corner. They were all like-new children’s books that the library was selling to keep up with the cost of running the library. I chatted with one of the volunteers who told me events like this were important to keep the library running. She mentions that for Black Friday they’ll be hosting a book sale that features all of their “like-new” or “gently used” books that are perfect for gift-giving. It will be held Nov. 26 and Nov. 27 and the specific hours and pricing will be found later on their website, as the date gets closer.
We left, with our stomachs full of apple cider donuts, hands in desperate need of hand sanitizer and pure excitement over the fact that maybe the autumn season wasn’t over yet.