Library fall festival

Cleburne Public Library Manager Tina Dunham, left, and Library Assistant Rachel Slimp  show off some of the many gift baskets to be auctioned during the library’s Saturday Fall Festival and Book Sale. Funds raised benefit library programs throughout the year.



Speaking appearances by author and Texas Monthly Executive Editor Skip Hollandsworth, journalist and author Lisa Wingate and mystery and non-fiction author Kathryn Casey are but a few past events made possible in large part because of the Cleburne Public Library’s annual Fall Festival and Book Sale.

“Our summer reading program and so much else too,” Library Manager Tina Dunham said. “The money raised each year from the festival and book sale helps pay for a lot of the children and adult programs we offer throughout the year as well as a lot of other items that aren’t budgeted by the city.”

This year’s festival is cause for excitement, Dunham said, as it represents the event’s first decade milestone and, for the first time, includes chili contest entries from local restaurants.

The event, sponsored by the Friends of the Library and the Cleburne Library Board, runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the library, 302 W. Henderson St.

In addition to the chili cook off and book sale, the family friendly day includes face painting, games and other entertainment as well as desserts, popcorn, cotton candy and other treats for sale.

Several Cleburne restaurants have already announced plans to compete in the chili cook off including Heroes, Loaf’N Dog, Jimmies and Leach Brothers Barbecue. As in past years, individuals may also enter the contest but are asked to first contact the library for guidelines.

Opening the contest to restaurants has already stirred friendly competition.

Jimmie’s Restaurant owner Jimmie Hughes joked that he’s confident victory is in his grasp.

“I can do some chili,” Hughes said. “I’m so good they wouldn’t let me in some of the other chili contests.”

Loaf’N Dog and Burger Bar owner Casey Waits begged to differ.

“Jimmie’s already told me he’s going to beat me,” Waits joked. “But I’ve got a secret ingredient so I’m feeling pretty good.”

The sale includes thousands of books, DVDs and CDs.

“We have a really big, and really great, selection of DVDs this year,” Dunham said. “I think as more people go to streaming they’re getting away from DVDs maybe, but that left us with a great selection this year.”

Dunham mentioned that the library accepts book, DVD and CD donations throughout the year to help replenish the annual sale.

Also as in years past, a plethora of auction items will be available ranging from a quilt donated by Peacock’s Transmission to more than 50 specialized gift baskets in addition to other items.

A sampling of the baskets includes a Downton Abbey tea basket, a date night basket, spa basket and numerous kids baskets custom crafted to highlight various books and/or literary characters.

“They make great Christmas gifts,” library assistant Amy Graham said.

Dunham said the festival is also a great opportunity for those who have not yet to visit and acquaint themselves with the library and for everyone else to catch up on upcoming library events.

For information, call 817-645-0934 or visit

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