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Tarrytown Library Marks Washington Irving's Birthday

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Author Washington Irving may be gone, but his spirit was alive at a 229th birthday party held in his honor Tuesday in the Warner Library Children's Room.

Kids and parents gathered to celebrate the life of Tarrytown's most famous writer with song, cake and the story of Rip Van Winkle with the library and IchabodAlive.

Pound cakes were also served. As IchabodAlive's Patricia Pinckney said, "When Washington Irving was alive, they made pound cakes for birthday cakes."

"They're really good, but they don't look like fancy birthday cakes," she told the audience.

Irving was born in New York City on April 3, 1783, and named after soon-to-be President George Washington. He is most famous as the author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

"We're happy to be here today and celebrate his birthday," children's librarian Patricia Cohn said. She gave a brief overview of Irving's accomplishments, noting that he helped promote American literature in the world. He also represented the United States as a diplomat, which Cohn said made him well known in his time.

"The main thing that he loved the best was writing," she said.

David Neilsen played the part of Rip Van Winkle for the event's entertainment. Irving's famous tale is about a man who falls asleep and wakes up to discover the American Revolution has come and gone. Neilsen noted his performance was based on a more kid-friendly adaptation of Irving's famous tale.

"It's a slightly different version, and if you're an adult whose read the original version, you'll understand why I'm reading this one," he said.

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