Over 40 people walked through the doors of the Washington Carnegie Library meeting room into what very closely resembled a French sidewalk cafe' Friday afternoon for the end party for the adult summer reading program, An Appetite for Life, Friday afternoon.
"Jeff (Gumbel) did all the decorations," said Rick Chambon, summer reading program coordinator. "He even made the flower cart."
Chambon said this years' summer program showed an increase in participants. "We had 70 people in the program this year. Of those 52 completed the requirements to attend the party today. We have 46 of those 52 here today."
To be eligible for an invitation to the end party, participants had to read either "Julia Child My Life in France" or "Z: a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald" and attend a minimum of two programs. This year, participants could chose from programs such as Skype sessions with the author's of the two books, showings of the movie "Midnight in Paris" or "Julia Child", book discussions and programs on France in 1920s, Normandy and the Riviera, and Lalique.
"Rick starts working on things for the summer program about six or nine months ahead of time," said Gumbel. "He's the one that put all these neat things like Skyping with Julia child's nephew together."
Chambon and Teresa Heidenreich, library director, both agreed the end party is the the most anticipated part of the summer reading program. "This is our thank you to the people who participated," said Chambon. "This is also our way of thanking them for supporting the library."
To complete the French cafe' look, Gumbel decked the meeting room in French decor that included everything from a large decal of the Eiffel Tower, a flower cart, and French signage. A "street" musician, Laurent Gruillet, a student at the Indiana University Jacob's School of Music, played the violin to help set the mood for the event now in its fourth year. Gruillet is from Bordeaux, France.