SYCAMORE – Many children, many cultures, many books.
That was the theme of the third annual Dia de los Ninos celebration at the Sycamore Public Library Saturday.
According to youth services director Mary Anderson, the celebration began two years ago with a grant from Target.
The event honors and celebrates children, who represent the hopes and dreams of every community. It’s normally held on April 30, but Anderson said the middle of April avoided scheduling conflicts.
In addition to the Rayitos del Sol dancers, a local Mexican folk dancing group sponsored by Conexion Comunidad, Anderson, in keeping with this year’s theme, decided to invite a Sycamore family that performs traditional Filipino dances.
“I thought that bringing in another culture (would be appropriate),” she said, adding that the family won the library’s talent competition in 2011.
Cindy Webster and five of her children performed a Tinikling dance and a fan dance they learned from Filipino students they hosted in their home.
“It’s all about rhythm,” Rebekah Webster told the crowd.
Following their performance, Cindy and Rebekah helped local women and girls try on their costumes and offered to show them how to fan dance.
Kristina Garcia, executive director of Conexion Comunidad, said her group performed dances that represent different regions throughout Mexico. They give about 50 shows a year throughout the area.
Two years ago, Anderson said the event drew 150 people; last year, 100. Although there weren’t as many this year, the crowd was definitely receptive, including one little girl who merrily danced along with the Rayitos del Sol group.