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Library brings Hollywood to Irving

Lights. Camera. Action. The South Irving Library brought all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the Irving community by hosting an Oscar watching party Sunday, March 4.

“We just wanted to make it a fun place to come and enjoy time together,” librarian Karen Wong said. “This is our first time for an Oscar party, but we do things like this once in a while.”

The idea for the party came out of the new winter reading challenge.

“This year, we decided to do a winter reading program, and we picked as our theme ‘From Book to Big Screen.’ We are focusing on books that were made into movies,” Wong said. “A couple of us wanted to do an Oscar party. It fit into our theme, and our time period in which we were doing the winter reading program, running Jan. 15 to March 15.”

The party room was decked out in movie decor. There were movie posters on the wall, backdrops and props for photo opportunities, and even a red carpet.

“We had help from the librarians at Valley Ranch and West,” Wong said. “Different people took on different tasks, and that made putting this together easier. We had a Valley Ranch librarian, who did all the centerpieces and did the popcorn machine. Then a librarian from West is reading the trivia questions.”

One attendee of the party, Mary Rehn, came to the party to view the award ceremony on a big screen.

“The library is great place to watch the Oscars,” Rehn said. “It is a bigger screen than I have at home. We knew it would be a good crowd.”

Rehn has also attended previous events at the Irving libraries and is loyal book club member as well.

“I started coming to the Irving libraries, because it was a halfway point,” Rehn said. “I live in Grand Prairie, and I used to work at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. So I drive in from another city to come to these library events.”

During the party, the library offered for different activities while viewing the award ceremony. There was Oscar bingo in which viewers watched for certain moments like “award winner says I am so unworthy” or “a presenter messes up a nominee’s name.” Then attendees could fill out a ballot for who they thought would win in each category. There were three rounds of trivia focused on famous movie quotes, movie scores, and Oscar trivia played during commercial breaks. There was a best dressed contest as well.

“The games have been really fun, and I won twice,” Rehn said. “I gave one of my awards to my friend. It has been very nice, and I have definitely enjoyed myself.”

Daisy Gonzalez also enjoyed the activities.

“It is fun, because there are more people here than I thought there was going to be,” Gonzalez said. “Trivia has been fantastic. I know my movie quotes, but I don’t know my Oscar trivia.”

To prepare for the Oscars, Gonzalez and her boyfriend watched almost all the nominated films.

“My boyfriend and I were rushing to watch all the Oscar movies before the awards, and we just missed two,” she said. “I am a big movie fan, but my boyfriend isn’t. He made a joke last year that he only went to the movies three times last year to see Dunkirk, Star Wars and Spiderman. I go all the time, so this year we are doing better. Since the start of the year we have seen seven movies.”

Community members were offered fancy snacks such as mini- cheese cakes, cake balls, cheese crackers, pink fizzy punch served in champagne glasses, and a popcorn bar with several different topping options like chocolate chips and popcorn seasonings.

“The games have been fun and the food goes well with the theme,” Gonzales said. “It has been really well planned.”

The evening ended with the audience voting on five contests for ‘Best Dressed.’ Gonzales won best dressed for her floor length black and white ball gown. She hand-made her dress.

“I made this dress for a different costume,” Gonzales said. “I had it, and I thought I might as well wear it. My favorite feature are the pockets. After seeing all the red carpet trends, I think I will add sleeves.”