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On May 21, 2016, thousands gathered in Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis to celebrate the joys of sharing books and reading with a colorful day of Library-building, storytelling, performance, poetry, and more!

Couldn’t be there? Check out the highlights in the videos below!

Enjoy These Activities Throughout the Day!

Canine Costume Contest & Parade at Noon

Little Free Library and organizing partner Sidewalk Dog are inviting dog owners to outfit their pooches to depict authors and characters from their favorite books. Three prizes will be awarded: Most Literary, Most Creative, and Most Elaborate. The parade starts at noon; dogs and their walkers can register starting at 11 a.m.

100-Library Volunteer Building Event

Volunteers including members of civic groups and area peace officers will assemble Libraries in shifts throughout the day. It will be a demonstration of a key component of Little Free Library’s Kids, Communities and Cops program which brings peacekeepers and neighbors together in support of reading. Want to participate? Click here to sign up for the build!

Pop-up Puppet Shows with Soozin Hirschmugl

Artist and Puppeteer Soozin Hirschmugl has created a tiny puppet theater in the shape of a Little Free Library. The little theater, worn by the puppeteer, becomes a mobile, interactive stage upon which puppets perform.

"If I Were Harry Potter” with Jeff Kamin

Books & Bars host and creator Jeff Kamin invites you to take part in “If I Were Harry Potter,” a fun, interactive game for ages 7-77. Contestants pretending to be Ron, Hermione, and Harry and other characters will compete for prizes by answering trivia questions, casting spells, and even playing a little Quidditch. Expect costumes and magic wands! The game will be scheduled on the half hour from 10 am to 4 pm.

Tutus-on-Wheels Challenge at 2 pm

How many bicyclists, tricyclists, unicyclists, skate-boarders, wagon-pullers, and stroller-pushers will accept the dare to don a tutu for the Tutus-on-Wheels Challenge? For this fundraiser, contributors will be asked to pledge a per-tutu payment and then see what the actual number is when the wheelin’ tutu-wearers depart the start line to ply the park’s paths.

Tutu-wearing Participants: If you don’t have a tutu, they will be available for a small fee on site the day of the event, or they may be purchased in advance at Freewheel Bike’s Midtown, West Bank, and Eden Prairie locations starting April 15. Participants may pre-register online here, or register in person on the day of the event.

Contributors: Click here to pledge your support in advance, or you can pledge in person at the Festival.

Proceeds will support LFL’s mission to spread the joy and power of reading through book sharing.

Random Acts of Poetry Readings

Enjoy random acts of poetry throughout the Festival! Talented high school students will be strolling through the park, reciting a variety of poems.

Song Circle with Dan Chouinard and Special Guests Ann Reed and Prudence Johnson

Musician Dan Chouinard will lead a song-sharing circle with a number of planned guests in attendance. Festival guests will be invited to stop and listen and to share a song or two.

“Lyrical Mural” with Larry Long, Van Nixon, Joe Savage, Abdulkadir Said and More

Beloved songsmith Larry Long will be present to absorb the spirit of the occasion that he will transform into a “Lyrical Mural” to be performed at the close of the day with his friends and guests.

Little Library Launch at 3:45 pm with Larry Long and Kevin Kling

Help give the 100 new Libraries a rousing sendoff! We will celebrate the day with Larry Long’s “Lyrical Mural” performed by international musicians and enjoy a piece by master storyteller Kevin Kling.

Bring a Book to Share or Read

The Little Free Library Festival is a celebration of reading and book-sharing. Festival guests are encouraged to bring a book or two for our book-sharing table and to settle down on the park’s slopes for a good read. (May 21 is National Readathon Day sponsored by Penguin Random House and the American Library Association.)

Free Haircuts and Hairsprays with Courtney Holmes, Hosted by T. Mychael Rambo

In 2015 Courtney Holmes received national attention for giving free haircuts to kids who read him a book. Holmes will set up a chair at the festival and will be joined by other barbers who will offer free haircuts and color sprays to kids who read out loud. T. Mychael Rambo will keep the exchange of stories, kids and barbers lively.

Music by The Brass Messengers

The instrumentalists and musical friends of the Brass Messengers will serenade the festival’s afternoon hours. At times they will be strolling the park paths as individual soloists providing an acoustic background for hillside readers. At other times they will work together as our peppy Pied Pipers. The Brass Messengers bring the best of musical mischief. Each member kicks brass and has fun delivering a professional sound with a playful approach.

Follow #LFLFestival on Social Media! Join in the festivities wherever you are! We’ll be tweeting and posting pictures and video snippets, and we encourage everyone to get in the spirit:

Bike Friendliness! The Little Free Library Festival is a bike-friendly event with an expanded numbers of bike racks and a special area set aside for cyclists. Caution! You may be asked to wear a tutu for our fundraiser!

Volunteer Opportunities Still Available!

Volunteer to help assemble 100 Libraries!

Volunteer to help with any other activity or general tasks!

There’s Still Time to Volunteer!

We need volunteers like you for general tasks as well as for specific activities! Most volunteer shifts will last 2-3 hours. Activities include the Book Exchange Table, 100-Library Build, Canine Costume Parade, Tutus-on-Wheels Fundraiser, Harry Potter game, Storybook Barbers, and more!

Click here to sign up to volunteer for the 100-Library Build (no previous building experience required to participate).

Click here to sign up to volunteer for any other activity or general tasks.

Thank You to Our Sponsors and Friends!

Minuteman Press, Hudson • Freewheel Bike • Whole Foods • Penguin Random House • Peace Coffee and Moon Palace Books • Graywolf Press • Common Good Books • Red Balloon • Coffee House Press • Milkweed Editions • Hennepin County Library • Chuck and Don’s • William Marvy Company • TruStone Financial Federal Credit Union

A special thank you to our Media Partner:

Star Tribune Logo

How to build Amish Shed Kit Screen Grab

Hey Library building volunteers! This video will walk you through how to assemble a Little Free Library Kit, step-by-step.

Apply to obtain a free Festival Library!

We are setting aside a few of the Libraries from the 100 being built at the Festival and inviting the public to apply to take home. Submit your application by May 18 for consideration. Update, May 18: Application period has ended.

Little Library Celebration 2
Little Library Celebration

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