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Big Yellow Birthday

Ashburn Library celebrates Big Bird’s birthday.

It is once a year that a certain big yellow bird has his perpetual sixth birthday and this year, on March 20, Ashburn Library, 43316 Hay Road, Ashburn, is going to celebrate. On that day Sesame Street’s Big Bird will celebrate his 39th birthday, though according to him he’s been only 6 years old for the past 17 years and has only aged a total of two years since his first appearance on Sesame Street.

"It will be as close to a birthday party as possible," said Amanda Liss, a librarian at the Ashburn branch who will be running the event. "We’ll have pin the tail on the Big Bird, sing along with ‘Big Bird Sings,’ have some coloring pages and possibly even cake."

LISS SAYS she was looking for great activities to do for younger children when she found out it was Big Bird’s birthday and thought that it would be perfect for a fun time at the library. Parents can bring their 4- to 6-year-olds to the party and let them enjoy the fun and games, and maybe even join in themselves. Children will be able to bring home any of the pictures they create while waiting to play all the games. There should be plenty of activities for active children to take part in while they celebrate.

Though born on March 20 in Jim Henson’s Muppet workshop, Big Bird first appeared on Sesame Street on Nov. 10, 1969. According to Liss his character really didn’t take center stage in the show until the death of Mr. Hooper, Sesame Street’s storekeeper and a friend of Big Bird. During this time Big Bird learned the meaning of death and that Mr. Hooper was never coming back. The programming was heralded as a landmark in children’s television. Liss believes this is one of the reasons Big Bird is so popular.

"I think it is because Big Bird really reflects the different emotions of kids," she said, "He kind of goes through all these different things that kids go through. He is kind of the mirror for the children watching the show." Of course she also notes that being big, friendly and yellow doesn’t hurt either.

Liss doesn’t think she is going to stop with just Big Bird since the event is turning out to be pretty popular. She says the library is looking into celebrating a different Sesame Street character every month or so, regardless of whether or not it is their birthday. Big Bird being the most popular, Liss is planning on possibly celebrating his birthday again since this first party is filling up so quickly.

Don’t be too surprised though if Big Bird isn’t the only Sesame Street character to show up in some form or other. After all, how can you have a birthday party for Big Bird without his best friend, Aloysius Snuffleupagus, there? Registration is required for the event and can be made by calling 703-737-8105.