During the Teddy Bear Picnic at Corvallis’ Central Park on Thursday, dozens of kids danced while holding their favorite stuffed animals as Portland-based musician Red Yarn played music and performed with puppets.
And after the concert ended, many of those children wandered over to the other half of the park to play games at the Penny Carnival.
Although the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library’s Teddy Bear Picnic and Corvallis Parks & Recreation’s Penny Carnival are longtime summer traditions in the city, Thursday marked the first time they had been held together.
Andrew Cherbas, the library’s deputy director, said combining the events made for an entire day’s worth of activities for families. And the events fit together well.
“It was one of those things like ‘why haven’t we done this before?’” he said.
Cherbas added that the library and Parks Department have been trying to coordinate more activities and they meet at least quarterly to plan.
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“Being city departments we’re trying to work together and conserve resources,” he said.
He added that the Parks Department and library are working toward the same goal: making Corvallis better.
Cherbas said the Parks Department helped the library put on its 5-kilometer run in June to kick off its summer reading program. He added there has been some talk about having Parks Department employees help staff library events like teen and tween Nerf nights.
He said the organizations have been building up their relationship and trying to do more coordinated efforts. Given the turnout levels at the combined picnic and carnival Thursday, he expects they will probably hold the events together again next year.
Eleni Cabaniss, who brought her four kids to the event, said her family has attended the picnic every year for the last few years, but sometimes missed the carnival. She said she liked that the events were combined because it made the effort of getting out with so many kids more worthwhile.
“We wanted to spend some good time together as a family and in the community,” she said.