The Harker Heights library loves to bring new, fun events to the community, and June 29 was no different, offering a dance for the whole family … with a twist.

The dance’s theme was “Fantastic Fandom Cosplay,” and this very special dance with its very special theme brought some very special people to take part.

The term “cosplay” is simply a mashup of the words “costume” and “play,” allowing people to dress up as their favorite characters, usually from books, movies, or even video games or comic books, and gather together with like-minded individuals for fun.

Library Director Lisa Youngblood said she chose this theme specifically because, “Cosplay is something that so many of our patrons are into, but anyone can be a part of.”

The beauty of the library’s event last Friday was that there was no predominating theme, such as Star Wars or Star Trek; it was open to anyone and everyone, of all ages.

Most people were in costumes, but many weren’t, instead showing up to see what cosplay was all about, and then sticking around to be a part of the fun.

Some patrons were just hanging around in the stacks, reading, and enjoying the atmosphere.

Jack Briggs and his family, of Killeen, were the perfect example of not having to stick to a particular theme.

Briggs himself came decked out in Steampunk (think of a cross between Victorian England and science fiction), while his wife and one daughter were adventurers, and his other daughter was a video game character.

He said he likes cosplay because there is something for everyone and, “Nobody gets hurt, everybody has a great time.”

Everyone did have a great time, and everyone was dancing, from toddlers to adults, right down to baby Chewbacca and Darth Maul with full lightsaber.

Even the library staffers and volunteers who were there to help out danced a few times.

“I just love watching people having fun,” said part-time clerk Ronda White.

There was actually another event going on at the same time as the dance, and there were many people looking through the glass to see what was happening, especially with the great music being played by the live deejay; one small girl was even dancing in the hallway, at least until her father found her and escorted her back to their event.

City Councilman Hal Schiffman stopped in for a moment, as well. He said he had been across the street at the Fire Department’s promotion ceremony when he decided to take a look at what was going on over at the library and saw the dance.

“It looks like an average Friday evening at our library,” he said, tongue-in-cheek, “thanks to the phenomenal Lisa Youngblood,” he finished, smiling.

Youngblood said, “The community and the Council is so committed to family, and to fun, family events.”

The next cosplay event, “A Night at Hogwarts,” is scheduled for July 13.

“You don’t have to be into Harry Potter, or even dress up,” Youngblood said. “Just come out and have fun. Everyone is invited.”

And for those who have never seen a few dozen Star Wars, Hogwarts, and other assorted characters chicken dance, you don’t want to miss out.

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