Once upon a time...

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It’s Fable Fest time. That means the world of make believe is just ahead, and once upon a time is now.

Saturday, the Cedar Park Library Foundation’s annual Fable Fest kicks off a weekend full of costumed fun throughout Cedar Park and Leander. This year’s event promises to be bigger than ever as the jousting exhibition returns after a two-year absence to the Milburn Park event, and a fun run is set to kick things off.

“This is our eighth year,” said Cedar Park Librarian Julia Mitschke. “It used to be at Heritage Oaks Park next to the library and 1,000 to 2,000 people would come out for a couple of hours. By the third year we had to move it over to Milburn Park, and it draws consistently between 4,000 and 8,000 people each year.”

Following the Fable Fest 5K and Dragon Dash 1K for kids, the event will host the King’s Carnival with games and inflatables and The Royal Academy where there will be live jousting and blacksmith demonstrations.  

“We encourage the imagination by encouraging everyone to come out in costume which is nice for parents to get one more use of those Halloween costumes,” Mitschke said.  

When visitors get hungry, the Pig’s Pub is home to a variety of food options.

The fun run begins at 9 a.m., with the kids run to follow. The festival is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Carnival activities take tickets that can be purchased at the event, with all proceeds going to the library foundation to fund programs and improvements at the library.  

Fable Fest is the primary fundraiser for the foundation and support  major initiatives including early literacy programs, summer reading programs and advanced technology initiatives.

“The early literacy programs are our most heavily attended programs at the library with over 30,000 attendees per year,” Mitschke said. “The funds also support our summer reading program, including prizes and incentives to keep children reading and prevent summer learning loss. It helps them stay on level and offers fun family things to do indoors when it is hot.”

Funds raised have also helped pay for new technology that allows patrons to use self-checkout and similar conveniences at the library, making it more cost–effective to run and easier for visitors.

When there’s a way to raise much-needed funds and help everyone have a great time, Mitschke believes they have found the right combination.

“As an event it is really unique,” she said. “There are a lot of great festivals in the area, but there is nothing else like this. It is fun to see kids excited to be there.

“But it is also great to see the impact it has one the library and how much better it makes our materials and services and benefit to the community,” she said, adding, “Come in costume. One of the most fun parts is when a family all dresses up together. It’s so fun to see people get

into it.”

For more information on this year’s festival, call the Cedar Park Public Library at (512) 401-5600 or check the festival website at www.fablefest.com.

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