There was trivia, doll-making and a chocolate marble cake that was gone in minutes. Hundreds of admirers of Jimmy Carter celebrated his 99th birthday in Atlanta on Saturday at the presidential library and museum named for him, after organizers moved the festivities up one day earlier than his actual birthday because of the threat of the government shutdown.
Presidential libraries receive federal funding from the National Archives and Records Administration. During a government shutdown, portions of libraries that are operated by the agency close, while those that are not can stay open with private funding.
At least four presidential libraries — for Mr. Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy — confirmed on Saturday that they would stop operations if lawmakers failed to reach a deal to avert a shutdown, though a naturalization ceremony at the Carter Center for 99 new American citizens will go on as scheduled on Sunday.
The rescheduled birthday celebration did not dampen the mood of the party nor the turnout. Outside the library was a Jumbotron display playing birthday wishes from figures including President Biden; Senator Jon Ossoff, Democrat of Georgia; and the Carter Center staff, as well as photos and videos submitted by the public.
Children played jacks — something Mr. Carter, who did not attend the party, did as a child in Plains, Ga. Adults wrote out birthday cards to the former president, and there was a screening of “All the President’s Men,” the first film he showed in the White House.
Cynthia Rice, a volunteer at the library and former director of educational programs for the Carter Center, said the library had expected around 150 visitors, but by midday, 1,000 pins commemorating Mr. Carter’s birthday had been distributed to attendees.
Robert W. Corell, a climate scientist who traveled with Mr. Carter to the High Arctic in 2008, hand-delivered on Saturday a birthday card that included a photo collage of their trip. He also said that he was “convinced” that Mr. Carter will reach the age of 100.
But the prospect of a shutdown was still on many people’s minds. Tony Callaway, 78, who was a minister at Mr. Carter’s church in Atlanta, said that “it’s shameful what’s going on.” Mr. Callaway met the former president the Sunday before Mr. Carter was sworn in as governor of Georgia in 1971.
After the House passed a funding measure Saturday afternoon that would keep the government open through mid-November — pending approval in the Senate — Tony Clark, head of public affairs at the library, said the library could adjust again and be open.
“We’ll have another party tomorrow,” he said.
Correction: Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated Tony Clark’s title. He is the head of public affairs at the Carter library, not the Carter Center.