Making his first appearance at Heidelberg on Friday, Elmo, the scruffy, lovable red Sesame Street monster, drew ooohs and awwws from the audience. And then, the children caught a glimpse of him!
Elmo’s handler, Kevin Clash, and Sesame Street Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente made several appearances on Friday and Saturday as part of the fall installment of The Patricia Adams Lecture Series.
Elmo made his Heidelberg debut on Friday, climbing out of his black travel bag during a puppetry workshop in Gundlach Theatre. The session was one of five throughout the day, designed to give students a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street, the success of its brand and the people who keep it fresh, timely and relevant for children.
Parente, who delivered the lecture series’ keynote address Friday evening, again called on her furry friend for a few well-placed giggles.
“Elmo here to go to school,” said the puppet through Clash. “Acquire knowledge. Matriculate. Elmo’s got Berg spirit.” Much to his dismay, Parente broke the news to Elmo that he’s not ready for college and that Heidelberg doesn’t have a pre-K class.
But the forward-thinking Elmo asked that if he did some schmoozing, “Would President Huntington save a place for Elmo in the class of 2022?” He concluded his appearance with a cheer, “Beat the Purple Raiders,” in reference to Heidelberg’s football game the next day vs. Mount Union.
Perhaps the highlight of Elmo’s visit to Heidelberg came Saturday when local children lined up at Seiberling Gymnasium to have their pictures taken with him on Saturday afternoon. Several hundred turned out with parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors for the photo op that also included Heidelberg’s Student Prince mascot, the cheerleaders and early childhood education majors who organized crafts and fun activities for them.