NORTH CANTON  The North Canton Public Library was packed full of kids, adults and avid readers Saturday. They were there to enjoy the annual party held to help kick off the Epic Summer Reading programs for 2018.

In addition to signing up for the reading programs, families learned about animals from the Akron Zoomobile. The Milk & Honey ice cream table was another favorite among attendees. While the line was long, people were waiting patiently for an ice cream cone.

"We have already served a couple of hundred ice cream cones in the first hour," said Jamie Campbell of Milk & Honey. "By the end of the three-hour event, we will probably give away close to 600 ice cream cones."

In addition to all of the activities throughout the library, the summer reading programs were the biggest hit of the day. There is the Children’s Summer Reading Club, Teen/Middle School Summer Reading Club and the Adult Reading Club. Each offers different prizes for achieving reading goals.

For more information on any of the reading programs, contact Community Relations Manager Christina Weyrick at 330-499-4712.

Children's Summer Reading Club

Registration for the children’s reading program is on the second floor of the library at the children’s section desk. Each registrant will receive a North Canton Public Library tote bag and an Epic Reading Record so they can track their reading throughout the summer.

Upon completion of their Epic Reading Record, participants receive a plush toy and a free meal at Chipotle. The first 300 children to register will also receive a free ticket to the Akron Zoo, and the first 200 to finish will receive an Epic Reader yard sign.

"We have a number of prizes this summer to encourage the kids to read." said Jamie Macris, who heads the Children's Department. "If a child reads one hour, they get a prize from our treasure chest. If they completer the entire reading record before July 28, they get a stuffed frog and a coupon for a kids’ meal at Chipotle."

Teen/Middle School Summer Reading Club

Teens and those heading to middle school next school year can read their way to winning gift cards and other prizes while attending some great programs and reading books during summer break. Two lucky and avid readers will win a set of Bluetooth headphones and speakers.

Adult Summer Reading Club

Adults can also register for their own summer reading club. They, too, can win prizes just for reading books and attending programs. The first 200 to register for the club will receive an North Canton Public Library lunch tote and other goodies.

Beyond reading

Epic Summer activities offered by the library extend beyond reading clubs. With a theme of "explore the world," the library is offering a variety of activities for the community.

Family Film Fridays will return to Witwer Park (adjacent to North Canton Middle School) the second Friday of each of the summer months starting Friday with "Ferdinand. "Coco will be shown in July and "Padington 2" in August. Events start at 7 p.m. for each of the monthly movie nights.

Live at the Library is a new summer program featuring live music and food trucks the first Thursday of June, July and August. The program is a partnership with the city of North Canton. The library will host live music concerts on its patio and a food truck will be in front of City Hall.

"Recent updates to City Hall, which is our neighboring building, have allowed us to plan this series beyond the library patio, and we are really excited about that," Weyrick said in a news release.

The event also opens a new partnership with North Canton’s newest ice cream shop, Pav’s. Each attendee of Live at the Library will receive a coupon for free ice cream.

The series kicks off 6 p.m., Thursday with music from zydeco inspired band, Mo’ Mojo, and authentic creole and Cajun cuisine from the Zydeco Bistro food truck. In July, the library will host indie rock band, The Scenic Route. Erin Nicole Nealand and the Chill Factors with special guest Sam Hooper, will bring a blues inspired, soulful sound to the patio in August.

The kick-off event included representatives from AEP Ohio and the library handing out information on the new North Canton Energy Savers Partner program with AEP Ohio. Every time a resident participates in one of AEP Ohio’s energy eligible efficiency programs such as completing an online energy survey, the city of North Canton will earn points.

If the city reaches 400 points by Sept. 30, it will receive a $30,000 grant to use for updating area parks. For more details about this summer program, call Outreach Services Manager Keri Burick at 330-499-4712.