Douglas County Library shows a summery side with fun, sun and seashells

The library was filled with more than 50 excited children and winter weary parents who enjoyed the change of scenery.

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Mary Bollman of Garfield takes a photo of cousins Riley Bollman, left, and Veyda Bollman while they pose at the Douglas County Library's "Escape the Cold Beach Party" on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA — To put some fun and sun into this snowy winter, the Douglas County Library organized an "Escape the Cold Beach Party" for kids on Saturday, March 11.

Mother Nature, however, didn't cooperate, delivering another blast of snow and gusting winds along with it, triggering a winter weather advisory. A few of the people who were scheduled to come out and do activities with the children were not able to because of the weather and safety.

But that didn't stop the fun. The library was still filled with more than 50 excited children and winter weary parents who enjoyed the change of scenery.

"It was good to get out the house a little bit instead of being stuck inside," said Grady Ries of Alexandria.

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Grady Ries of Alexandria and his 1-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Nora, look at sea shells with magnifying glasses during Saturday's beach party at the Douglas County Library.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

The kids made sticker creations, looked at sea shells under a magnifying glass, wore beach costumes — complete with sunglasses, colorful lei necklaces and Hawaiian skirts — and posed for photos in front of a backdrop that showed palm trees, ocean waves and a sandy beach.


Sarah Wethern, the director of the children's library, said the Legacy of the Lakes Museum contributed to the beach party's success by helping to arrange most of the details.

"Even though we had to scale it back a little, people seemed to be having fun — and we were happy to see that," Wethern said.

Next up at the library for kids (in addition to its storytime events) — a Cookie Decorating Class for kids ages 8 to 12. It will take place on Friday, March 17 at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 1 at 10:30 a.m. and Thursday, April 13 at 3:30 p.m. Space is limited. Sign up for only one session as each class is the same.

For more information about Douglas County Library activities, go to the website,

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Jenny Erickson of Alexandria helps her son, Levi, with his sticker art project at Saturday's beach party. Meanwhile, Fieryosia Thomas of Alexandria holds up her sticker design.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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