Moonlight Walk celebrates its ninth year inside

mhankerson@newsobserver.comOctober 15, 2013 

Storyteller Donna Washington, who recently returned from China, told stories during East Regional Library’s Moonlight Walk.

MECHELLE HANKERSON — mhankerson@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Wake County’s East Regional Library was in rare form on the night of Oct. 10: there were children running through the shelves, lively storytellers greeting families and a scarecrow sitting with volunteers and staff members.

It was the library’s ninth annual Moonlight Walk – without the walk. The library moved the event inside this year because of the weather, and even though the rain had mostly stopped by the time the event started, librarian Susan Adams said bridges were still slippery.

The event usually includes a walk through the nature trail near the library. Participants stop every couple of yards to hear parts of a story and, at the end, they can be part of an activity. This year, they would have helped build a scarecrow.

The story was held inside this year and included three stations for participants. For some visitors, the walk was the biggest draw of the event but the other activities made up for the last-minute change.

Kelly Kiel brought her 5-year-old daughter, Paige, from Cary to go on the walk because she loves the fall.

“We were hoping to get outside,” she said. Instead, Paige, who is interested in bugs and keeps a bug collection, was able to find books about bugs at the library and on the BookMobile, which was stationed at the library for the night.

Tracey Bell of Raleigh was also looking forward to the Moonlight Walk but became more interested in the storytellers sharing stories.

“I loved it,” she said. “Especially (Donna Washington). I loved the way that she expressed herself, I loved the voices.”

Durham-based storytellers Donna Washington and Ron Jones told stories to audiences, one activity Adams said many participants miss when the Moonlight Walk takes place outside.

“There’s a great audience for the storytellers (when) the people can’t get outside and walk around,” Adams said.

Washington and Jones are both internationally known storytellers. Washington told the audience this was her first performance since she got back from China.

The night’s events also included a puppet show and the Enchanted Forest, where children could go into a decorated room and find books they want to read. If they checked out five books, they received a small prize.

With the weather changing the night’s events, Adams said there were probably 300-400 fewer people than there have been in past years, but the ones that did show up seemed as engaged as ever.

The event was originally created to let the Knightdale community know about the library and its programming around the time that it opened. Adams estimated about 1,200 people came to Moonlight Walk in the past.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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