Mulberry Public Library’s Hunger Games Event
by Sofia Simpson, Youth Services Librarian
The Hunger Games movie is on every teen’s mind right now, it seems. So we, at The Mulberry Library, decided to bring the Games to life by having an actual Hunger Games event. Played on a high school football field, teens signed up to compete against each other in a thrilling game, where there was only one winner and that person was the last man/woman standing. It was
suspenseful, competitive and everything happened just like the book! Alliances were formed (and broken) as over 70 teens took part in this exciting rendition of the book.
In order to play, teens brought supplies needed during the games, such as water balloons,marshmallows and silly string.
They then became Capital Citizens (volunteers), Sponsors (spectators-who had a part in the games, as well) and Tributes (on-the-field-competitors). The weapons were fun and messy, which the teens loved. They used over 1,500 water balloons, 100+ bags of marshmallows, 5 soft-tipped bow and arrows, and several foam knives and water guns to get each other other out. With over 10 adult (background checked) referees on the field, if any teen was spotted getting hit by any of the aforementioned weapons, they were told to leave the field. But, with Sponsors in the stands giving out Favors (allowing re-entrance into the Games), soon favorite Tributes were seen coming back onto the field more and more.With over 45 Tributes on the field, it took over two hours to complete the Games. In the Grand Finale, event coordinators shortened the field when it was down to 10 Tributes. One Tribute, went on a short (allowed) break and came back to find only 3 Tributes left. Sneaking up behind two Tributes, he jumped, and with a foam knife, knifed them in the necks ruining their chances of winning like the Hunger Games book characters, Katniss and Peeta. But, Daniel saw his chance to win and he took it. As soon as the other Tribute came down from his jump, he got nailed with one marshmallow and lost the Games to Daniel.
Daniel won a great trophy and basket full of sponsored items, such as The Hunger Games book set, Cobb movie tickets, dinner at a local restaurant, and other items.
This book is the new teen phenomenon. Right now in the Polk County library system alone, the request list for The Hunger Games book is staggering. 250 people are on the Polk County’s request list, waiting to read The Hunger Games. There are over 26 copies of the book in the Polk County library system and with patrons able to keep items for two-week periods, Hunger Games fans have some waiting to do if they want to read the book.
We marketed this event to high schoolers as they are the hardest readers to reach. In so doing, we have made patrons out of some of the participants and they are asking for more events like the Mulberry Library’s Hunger Games to participate in. We are planning lots of summer activities, such as Zombie Line Dancing, A Moonlight Hay Ride, A Ghost Hunter’s Visit to find Ghosts in our library, called, Is There a Ghost in our Library?, and a Mystery Theatre.My suggestion for those who would like to have an event like this one is to get as many sponsors as you can. Our sponsors, like Magnify Credit Union had over 200 t-shirts made that said, Hungry For Hunger Games on the front and Sponsored by Magnify on the back. And use as much of the high school supplies they are willing to allow you to use. We were able to use the track and field hurdles for blockades during the Games. With black yard/garden bags stretched over them, they were perfect to build fortresses to hide behind. Patrons donated tents where we stashed the weapons. And you will need a good amount of volunteers/Capital Citizens, 🙂 , to keep the weapons coming in good supply for the Tributes.If you are doing this event at home, then put smaller children who want to participate to work in making water balloons, filling up marshamallow stations, basically re-stocking what the older kids are using Most of all, have fun. I know I did, I was dressed as Effie Trinkett, a book character from Hunger Games and my face hurt by the end of the day, I was laughing and smiling so much!