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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Festival of Books brings fun for all

    Rebecca Noble
    Festivalgoers browse the Penguin Book Truck’s selection at the Festival of Books on the UA Mall on Saturday, March 15, 2014. The Festival of Books will run on the UA Mall from Saturday to Sunday and offers a wide variety of interesting activities and events.

    Those vacant, white tents that cover the majority of UA will soon fill up with authors, sponsors and exhibitors promoting their works and businesses at the eighth annual Tucson Festival of Books.

    This two-day event will take place Saturday and Sunday on the UA Mall, as well as other specific venues like the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center, Student Union Memorial Center ballrooms, the Henry Koffler building and many more that will hold panels. Visitors will come both to support their favorite authors and in search of their next favorite writer. 

    “There are going to be local authors at the book fair that I am eager to meet,” said journalism freshman Kyana Ray Robles. 

    While Robles anticipates the coming festival, the fact that it takes place during spring break isn’t exactly a good thing for out-of-state Wildcats. 

    “There are so many things that aren’t just about books, like organizations that show up, which is why I am upset I’ll be missing it for the fourth year in a row,” said biology senior Andrew Russell-Cheung.

    Writers from Nevada, Michigan, New York and Tucson who have won honors in the literary awards—that the festival sponsors—will appear at the festival this weekend. 

    Tucson native Melissa Goodrich placed first for the fiction category for her short story “Anna.” You can find her books, along with other authors’ work, at the UA Bookstore. 

    This festival, whose origins were inspired by the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, increases Tucson’s business and publicity. Along with local authors, others, such as “Sesame Street” cast member and literacy advocate Sonia Manzano, will make appearances at the festival.

    Chefs and food stands also take up a big part of the festival. Chef-authors, like Margarita Carrillo Arronte, will promote their cookbooks and cuisines. Arronte specializes in Mexican cuisine and is admired in the culinary world for her unique spin on popular Mexican food recipes.

    Learning about food from detailed cookbooks always incites hunger, a reason why the festival includes an array of familiar food trucks to fill you with energy after a long day of learning. Local favorites that you will find at the festival include Beyond Bread, Eegee’s, Frost Gelato and Tucson Tamale Company.

    Not into books or food? 

    The festival has more than just literature. Activities and entertainment opportunities populate the weekend. 

    These include performances from musical groups like the Civic Orchestra of Tucson and mariachi bands. Children can meet a storybook character and learn about the “science of kindness” from the Ben’s Bells organization.

    Check out the Festival of Books on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There is guaranteed to be something for all ages this weekend.

    Follow Mariel Bustamante on Twitter

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