Friends of the Library are seeking new sponsors for "Christmas in the Big Thicket event."
The organization decided at their December meeting to find a new sponsor for the annual Christmas event.
The Friends were set up to assist the library with their needs by volunteering or fund raising. They never intended to manage or sponsor an event as big as the Christmas in the Big Thicket event.
Years ago, the library personnel set up a festive, known as the Library Festival, in the parking lot to raise funds to buy books. Originally the festival was largely a used book sale.
However, it began to grow and the event was taken over by Team City and renamed "Christmas in the Big Thicket".
Team City sponsored the event for 17 years. This organization had corporate backing and the organization to develop the event into what it is today.
After 17 years, Team City disbanded and the event continued on through the good will of people who volunteered civic organizations that donated funds to continue the festival.
Over the years "Christmas in the Big Thicket grew and each year new events were added to make it a family-friendly event.
In addition, more vendors rented spaces which helped fund the event.
At the December meeting the board of the "Friends of the Library" met and discussed future plans for the event.
The board, which includes, President Bob Herbst, Vice President Emily Holt, Secretary Janice Dunn, treasurer; Mary Kay Muckleroy, finance chairman; Imogene Nelson, publicity chairman and board members, Joyce Wallace, Jeanette Tobey, Juanita Wallace and Diane Rutledge decided that the Christmas In the Big Thicket Festival needed a new sponsor.
The group discussed whether the new sponsor should be a club, church, student organization, City of Silsbee, Chamber of Commerce or an individual.
They are now interests in hearing what the public would like to say and are seeking volunteers who would take over the responsibility.
People interested in becoming a part or sponsor of the event should contact the library at 385-4831.
The way the event is "set-up" now the library only receives funds from renting the space to vendors. This money is used to update the library contents and equipment.
The library staff volunteers to secure entertainment. PVAC often helps with some of the events.
Canned food that is donated as an entry fee for the races is donated to the Christian Care Center. These events are under the direction of Frankie Riley.
The "Ice House Museum" funds the "Make It and Take It" activity for children. This is under the direction of Margaret Underhill.
The Chamber of Commerce sometimes gets funding for the stage and ribbons or trophies for 'Pets on Parade.' This event is chaired by Jim Willis.
One of the big tasks is decorating the library square. This was chaired by Mary Kay Muckleroy with funds donated from different organizations in town. Volunteers, LIT and city employees put up and take down the decorations.
The organization of the festival takes months. All of the participants volunteer for the benefit of Silsbee and to show the pride they have for their hometown.
The board of the "Friends of the Library" determined that "It's time for someone to 'step up o the plate' and plan this great event that everyone enjoys each December."
The next fundraiser for the Library will be the Spring Book and Bake sale. Books can be donated at the Library at any time.
The next meeting of the "Friends of the Library" will be on January 22nd at 7pm at the Library.
Anyone interested in helping the Library is invited to join the group every fourth Tuesday. They extend a hearty "Welcome and we need you."
The Christmas in the Big Thicket Festival" in conjunction with the Christmas Lighted Parade has been a hugely successful event. The "Friends of the Library" and the staff at the library are appreciative of the support they have received and want to thank everyone who participated in any part of the Festival and the Citizens of Silsbee who supported the vendors.