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Thanksgiving without the turkey

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 3:48 p.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – Thanksgiving is coming a few days early in Sycamore. Representatives from the Sycamore Public Library and Borders in DeKalb are set to host “A Sycamore Thanksgiving” Monday, Nov. 23 at the library, 103 E. State St.

Although this festival won’t feature turkey and stuffing, there will be a smorgasbord of entertainment and activities. The event will include performances from local musicians, book signings from local authors and a fashion show with representatives from maurices, Cracker Jax and Unique Concepts Salon.

“It’s a unique event in that we’re pulling together three rather disparate things. There’s a little something for everybody,” said Larry Zevnik, director of adult services for the Sycamore Public Library.

The event will feature music from Kishwaukee Flats, Tempted Turtle, Elle Smith, Glory, Zachary Harris, Demetra Dokos, Bill Leighly and The Cerny Brothers.

“I just love bringing music to the library. We don’t do enough of that, and these are all local performers,” Zevnik said. “A couple of these bands are still in high school. People that young are able to get in front of a live audience and perform, so I’m very impressed.”

Some of the authors signing copies of their books include Lorelei Bell, Richard Martelet, Diane Ladley, James Ballowe, Ilona Meagher and Anbritt Stengele. Zevnik said each author has their own writing style.

“It’s a nice mix. There’s some fiction and some non-fiction. Whatever anybody’s taste in books, I think there will be somebody there who they will be interested in talking to,” Zevnik said. “Of course, for anybody who is interested in writing, it’s always a great idea to sit down with somebody who is published and find out what the process is like.”

“A Sycamore Thanksgiving” will be held 5-8:30 p.m. in the Big Meeting Room of the library. Zevnik said residents are welcome anytime during those hours.

“People don’t have to be here for the whole thing,” Zevnik said. “That’s one point that I’m trying to get across. Because people might look at that and go, ‘I can’t spend three and a half hours there.’ There’s going to be entertainment all night. It’s always going to be changing. So if you come in for 10 minutes or three hours, either way, that’s great.”

Zevnik said Dan Sherrill, event coordinator for Border’s in DeKalb, developed the idea for the event. He said Sherrill hopes to make “A Sycamore Thanksgiving” an annual tradition.

“He was born and raised here, and his idea is that we got Pumpkin Fest and there’s a lot going on for Christmas, but there’s really nothing for the Thanksgiving holiday, so he had this idea,” Zevnik said. “He wants to make it an annual event. If it goes well and people like it, I will absolutely bring it back, because I think it’s an interesting idea.”

Sherrill said he hosted a similar event for the DeKalb Public Library’s community reading program in October and decided to conduct a similar program in Sycamore.

“I had a conversation with Larry, and he read a list of dates that were available. We decided on Nov. 23, and we decided to make it a Thanksgiving event,” Sherrill said. “The community comes out to the Pumpkin Festival and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and we agreed that Sycamore doesn’t have any event for Thanksgiving.”

Sherrill said, during the past few weeks, he has been working to encourage local musicians, authors and business owners to get involved with the event.

“I contacted several authors, and they agreed to attend to sign copies of their books. I know several musicians in DeKalb, because I work at the House Cafe. So I picked up the phone, and several of the musicians agreed to perform,” Sherrill said.

“I talked to Maurices about doing a fashion show. I told them we were doing an event for Thanksgiving. I asked them if they wanted to be a part of it, and they responded with a resounding ‘Yes.’ They were able to get six models together. Unique Concepts will be doing the models’ hair. I called Cracker Jax and asked if they would be interested, and they will be sending six or seven models for the Thanksgiving event.”

Zevnik said “A Sycamore Thanksgiving” includes activities that residents of all ages should enjoy.

“Whether you’re coming here to hear the music or meet the authors or to see the fashion show, it’s a little bit of something for everybody,” Zevnik said. “I’ve done things before where we bring in a performer, but this will be very different, I think, because of the multiple performers. There’s a lot of different styles of music, so I’m just hoping that it will appeal to a wide range of people.”

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