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      Kids in Ottumwa celebrate the 4th of July early

      Kids doing arts and crafts at the early 4th of July celebration

      It may have been hot on Tuesday but the heat did not stop more than a hundred kids to come out to Central Park in Ottumwa for an early 4th of July celebration.

      The Ottumwa Public Library Summer Reading Program puts on a day of arts and crafts and games outside each yeah for kids of all ages.

      A lot of kids showed up for the free event and showed off their patriotic clothing.

      ??Then we do a little 4th of July parade. We just walk around Central Park and they all get 4th of July decorations to wear. We've got some red, white and blue leis and we have some noise makers and we do a little parade around Central Park. And then the kids will come in here and we have popsicles for them,?? said Jenna Bates, Ottumwa Public Library Children??s Librarian.

      This year the Summer Reading Program is seeing record numbers of kids signed up for the program.

      ??It's a good turnout. It??s been a very good turnout this summer. I checked the website the other day and we had a total of 545 readers so far this summer that are entered -- signed up -- on the website for the summer reading program so that's actually more than last year already,?? said Bates.

      Those that are signed up earn prizes for the pages that they read. When they reach a certain milestone, they come to the library to collect their prizes.

      When the program ends on July 31, the kids are entered into a grand prize drawing.

      Bates said the goal is to get kids reading and showing them it??s fun.