Every year during the Spring Lake Heritage Festival, we spend a day celebrating animation pioneer and Spring Lake’s most famous son, Winsor McCay.  This year, Winsor McCay Day is Tuesday, June 13, and we have a full day of programs honoring him scheduled at the library.

First up at 10:30am is Who Was Winsor McCay?  Local author and illustrator Aaron Zenz will teach kids about Winsor McCay, his art, and show some of his cartoons including his most famous creation Gertie the Dinosaur. We’ll also be celebrating McCay’s 150th birthday with party hats and Winsor McCay-themed balloons made by 616 Balloons.

For our aspiring artists entering 3rd grade or older, local artist Kevin Collier is teaching a Cartooning Workshop at 2pm.  Will the next Winsor McCay attend and learn about cartooning and the animation business?  We’ll have to wait to see.

One of McCay’s most successful comic strips was Dream of a Rarebit Fiend, about characters who ate Welsh rarebit before bed and had bizarre dreams. Come to the library between 6:30 and 7pm to sample some Welsh rarebit, a savory cheese sauce, served over Chef Jamie Paquin’s homemade anadama bread.

At 7pm, artist and author Kevin Collier will tell the Secrets Behind the McCay’s Illustration of “The Sinking of the Alpena.”  Winsor McCay first rose to national prominence when his chalk drawing of the sinking of the Alpena was photographed and sold on postcards. He was only 13 at the time! Collier will also share stories from Winsor McCay’s childhood in Spring Lake as documented in Collier’s new book, Winsor McCay: Boyhood Dreams.

Have you ever seen Gertie the Dinosaur?  You can watch her now on YouTube or check out one of the DVDs available at the library.  We also have a section of our website dedicated to Winsor McCay for online browsing.  We invite you to further explore his life, newspaper comics, and animated works.