Today, we attended the Global Family Reunion Block Party in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library. West Temple Street between North and South Temple Streets was blocked off for this party. It was one of over 40 branch parties of the larger Global Family Reunion that was taking place in Queens, New York at the New York Hall of Science.
We arrived just as the event was starting at 10 am and were each tagged with neon green wrist bands. My children immediately wanted to play on the bounce houses that were lining the street.
After 5 or 6 bounce houses, we got in line for the rock wall. My children are 7 and 4 and have never climbed one before. I was surprised they wanted to. They were both so brave. As we waited in line, I thought about the bounce houses, the rock wall, the carnival games and realized that I need to step up my games for family reunions. This was so much fun for the kids.
While the kids were in line for the rock wall, I was in the group photo in front of the Family History Library. Each of the block parties as well as the main event had a huge group photo taken. Can you find me?
At each of the carnival games (ring toss, bean bag toss, fish pond, and basketball hoop) the kids got little trinkets or toys for participating. We have leis, bracelets, skin stickers (tattoos), pens, magnet clips, and suckers. They loved the carnival games and repeated them. I love this picture with the missionary who was helping at this booth. I wonder if he ever dreamed that when he accepted his call to be a family history missionary that he would one day be hosting a carnival game for part of the world's largest family reunion.
While we were waiting in line for the face painting, we listened and watched the Polynesian Dancers, the Scottish Bagpipers and Storyteller Elaine Brewster.
We went into the Family History Library for other activities. One of the activities was Replace a Face interactive photos. We chose an old photo and then using the camera on the computer took our picture and the program placed it inside of the picture. Here are Emma's and Matthew's pictures. This would be something fun to do at a family reunion using old pictures of our ancestors.
We also put a dot on a large world map indicating an area where one of our ancestors were from. And we had some other pictures taken of us in front of a green screen and we got to pick out different backgrounds.
The library now has an area with children's toys and a table and white board for children to use. My children immediately sat down and colored away. My daughter colored a huge red heart ... turning hearts to our fathers ... very clever. Good teaching moments even with a coloring page.
The library also had three rotating beginner's classes: Find an Ancestor on FamilySearch.org, Help Me Find a Name, and Beginning Indexing. Also in the library one could watch the live stream from the New York event.
Here is a view of West Temple Street from the 3rd floor of the Family History Library.
While we were in the library I was interviewed by a reporter for the Deseret News. You can read that article here: