Dragging their parent's arms and sprinting to be the first in line, children anxiously waited Saturday to make artistic gifts for this holiday season.
The New Rochelle Business Improvement District (BID), held its seventh annual "Make A Gift Fair" event in conjunction with the New Rochelle City School District, The New Rochelle Department of Parks and Recreation and the New Rochelle Public Library where it was held.
Little tykes ages 5 and up lined up to choose tickets representing the gifts they wanted to make.
Each participant was able to make three holiday presents for their friends and family. There were six choices consisting of holiday ornaments/magnets in the shape of a snowflake, gingerbread man or stocking, candy cane reindeers, hot cocoa in a cup, tea-lights, and decorative hotplate tile coasters.
The gifts had their own preparation tables in the library's main meeting room and a gift wrapping station table was located just outside in the lobby.
The tables were manned by school district teachers, city workers and teens, who patiently guided children on their imaginative and artsy paths to making thoughtful gifts.
Barbara Davis, the library's community relations coordinator, said they chose craft items that related to the Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas seasons.
"We try to switch it up every year," she said. "Our newest gift idea this year was the 'candle in a clay pot,' " she said, which also ran out the fastest during the event.
Nina Shawn Gainor, supervisor for the New Rochelle Parks and Recreation Department, controlled the "hot cocoa in a cup" table and shared her view on the day's occassion.
"This is one of my favorite events. I think the kids really like it, too," she said. "Even if their parent is standing with them as they make their gift, they still think it's a secret and try to hide it."
New Rochelle resident Gina Negrin said she came to the event because of a flyer she saw at the library when she picked up books with her kids.
Her son George Negrin agreed with his mother when asked if he had a good time.
"I made hot cocoa, a candy cane reindeer and a gingerbread," he said as he displayed the gifts in front of him.
Nicholas Baker, a New Rochelle resident, said the event was fun because there were a lot of activities.
"My favorite part was making the 'hot cocoa in a cup,' " he said.
Davis said she saw familiar faces walking into today's "Make A Gift Fair." Some of the teens she worked with today were among those who attended the event as a child.
Dwan Jackson, also from New Rochelle, said she received a note from her child's school describing the "Make A Gift Fair."
"It's my first time here and I brought nine kids with me today," she said. "I always said the best gifts are the ones you make for someone."
Along the same lines as Jackson, Davis hoped the event would inspire parents to make home-made gifts with their children, adding that by using craft supplies purchased in New Rochelle, they could be accomplished by anyone.