The Idaho Springs Library celebrated El día de los niños/el día de los libros, a celebration of children and books, by welcoming guests to a library fiesta complete with dancers, food, crafts and more.
According to the American Library Association, the holiday commonly referred to as Día emphasizes the importance of literacy for kids of all cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Clear Creek County Library District Program Director Holly Grant said the holiday is a great time to invite people into the library to connect.
“It's a great way to get people into the library and see the library as a welcoming and warm place where they can have all kinds of resources and fun. It's just a great way to communicate and connect with the community,” Grant said.
The celebration featured traditional dance performances from the Fiesta Colorado dance troupe, a taco bar donated by TommyKnockers Brewery, warm churros, crafts, piñatas, a photobooth and spanish storytime.
Grant explained that the library is much more than a quiet place to read; it’s also a community gathering place.
“It's a good place for research and work and study, but it's also a great place to meet people. And sometimes party like today,” Grant said.
Leslie Ortiz was dancing with the Fiesta Colorado dance troupe. Her troupe brought in multiple younger dancers for the celebration, but Ortiz was one of the older ones, despite only being 10 years old. She’s been dancing for two years.
Ortiz and her troupe were dancing in a traditional folklórico style, which is a combination of ballet techniques and folk dances from Mexico. One of the main hallmarks of the dance style is the big, billowy skirts.
“The skirt is meant to be big. So that way when you perform, it flares. And then the sleeve is when you do like a type of salsa dance. And it flares as well,” Ortiz explained.
Ortiz thought it was special that she got to perform for other kids for the Día celebration, and hoped it could instill confidence in others.
“I think it's cool, because I feel like they could do whatever they want. So if they wanted to perform, then they could perform. If they want to sing, then they can sing,” she said.