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"Shushhhh" was not the usual watchword Saturday at the Shelby County Public Library. It was more like, "Let's scream for ice cream!" as the strains of live Bluegrass music and the laughter of hundreds of children and adults ate ice cream, played games and listened to the band Cottonwood in the Hudson Room.
The event kicked off the Shelby County Public Library's annual Summer Reading Program, with a possible record attendance this year.
"They have been pouring in all day," said Elaine Johnson, assistant children's librarian, who estimated that attendance was at least 300 children, and that was before noon; the event just started at 11 a.m.
"I've never seen so much ice cream in my life," said the library's director, Pam Federspiel, licking a fallen drop of vanilla ice cream from her hand. "We are thrilled."
The entire bottom floor of the library was devoted to the event, with an ice cream social and live Bluegrass music in the Hudson Room, book packages in another, and another room devoted to a simulation of the beach, complete with a sandbox and face painting.