Lebanon Lilly — local mascot, community symbol, and children’s book protagonist — will have May 22 officially declared as her day. This will coincide with the launch and giveaway of the bilingual edition of the storybook in which she stars, in a celebration that seeks to involve families with the local community as they follow a Storybook Walk through Lebanon streets.
Juntos de Lebanon, FirstEnergy Foundation, and Visit Lebanon Valley have partnered to offer ‘The Adventures of Lebanon Lilly’ children’s book as a bilingual edition, aiming to include the Hispanic community and “share the history of the Lebanon Valley highlighting some wonderful places to enjoy locally,” stated the event’s press release.
The activities will start at 10 a.m. at the Visit Lebanon Valley Office on 31 S. 8th Street, with a brief Dedication Ceremony where Mayor Sherry Capello will declare May 22 as ‘Lebanon Lilly Day.’ Immediately afterwards, families and their children will be able to join the Storybook Walk, which will lead them to enlarged pages posted on local businesses’ windows, following the story as they move from one point of interest to the next. The final stop will be on 922 Cumberland St, at La Placita de Lebanon, where the book will be given away for free while supplies last, alongside “trivia trails, coloring pages, [and] a Lebanon Lilly Itinerary,” according to the press release.
As for why Lebanon Lilly became such a prominent community member, it started with the purchase of a life-size cow statue by Visit Lebanon Valley President, Jennifer Kuzo, back in April 2019. The cow was named after prominent and historic Lebanon resident, Lilly Coleman, and added to the Visitors Center office. After some touch-ups from local artist MJ McFalls to the statue itself, positive community response, and a collaboration between Kuzo as author and McFalls as illustrator, ‘The Adventures of Lebanon Lilly’ was born as a way to showcase Lebanon County and its agricultural roots.
“This book pays homage to our farmers, roadside stands, farmers’ markets, fresh produce and specialty foods like Lebanon Bologna and Opera Fudge that originated in the Lebanon Valley. It also highlights the importance of agriculture in our community and how it leads to living a healthy life […] This book is a simple way to pass on values and share the importance and beauty of our historically significant sites for this generation to the next to enjoy,” stated Kuzo.
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