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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Your guide to the 2017 Tucson Festival of Books

Jen Pimentel

A parking sign is shown at the Tucson Festival of Books on the UA mall on March 12, 2016. Maps and smart phone apps are available to help attendees navigate the myriad of events at the festival.

The ninth annual Tucson Festival of Books is one of the largest book festivals in the country, attracting authors and visitors from all over the world.

Officials said it’s impossible to see everything in the time allotted because some events occur simultaneously. Planning ahead will allow attendees to make the most out of their time at the festival.

Each day of the festival features a range of events, including presentations, workshops and interviews. These events will be conducted by over 300 presenting authors that the festival attracts to Tucson. Every day of the festival features new presenters and topics, but the general format of the festival will remain the same.

The Tucson Festival of Books phone app can be downloaded for both iPhone and Android. This app is a free resource for everything festival related from general information to event times. The app is designed to help attendees plan their route through the festival.

RELATED: Festival of Books erects 500 tents, 14 stages over three weeks on Tucson Mall

With the app, attendees can also find out more about the authors and organizations they hear from. Under the authors tab, users of the app are given brief descriptions of each author, which generally include highlights of the author’s careers and notable works.

Additionally, the app serves as a mapping tool. Under the exhibitors tab, users may select a desired destination, and the app will display a map of the exhibitor’s tent and surrounding landmarks, such as UA buildings.

The festival will begin with a character parade, an opportunity for families and children to dress up as their favorite storybook characters and walk from the Canyon Stage (located by the UA bookstore) to the children’s area.

After the parade, the festival will provide various opportunities for entertainment. Multiple poetry groups, a bagpipe band and a belly dancing troop are among the list of performances being offered. The festival app contains the complete entertainment schedule, as well.

A wide variety of vendors will be selling food throughout the weekend. These vendors will provide drinks, snacks, meals and desserts.

Many on-campus restaurants are located in Main Gate Square on University Boulevard.  Gentle Ben’s Brewing Company has a large appetizers menu and is known by UA students for its pizookies. No Anchovies serves custom pizzas by the slice or pie and offers customers bar or bench seating. The street is also home to WOOPS!, a small bakeshop serving macarons and coffee.

RELATED: Top 10 events at the Tucson Festival of Books you don’t want to miss

Just a short walk off the UA campus, the Taco Shop serves modestly-priced Mexican food. Graze Premium Burgers serves burgers, hot dogs and fries. Graze advertises serving hormone-free burgers and offering vegetarian-friendly options. These two restaurants are among a large group of Tucson favorites.

The UA offers free parking on weekends in multiple surface lots, as well as the Park Avenue and Highland garages. The following lots will be providing additional parking for $5: Cherry Avenue, Sixth Street, Tyndall and Main Gate.

Attendees can also take advantage of street and metered parking throughout campus. Metered street parking is free of charge on weekends.

The Second Street garage will not be available for public use during the festival; the garage is reserved for presenting authors.

The Festival of Books organizers recommend utilizing public transportation and opportunities to carpool in order to avoid overflow.

Accessible routes through the festival will be marked with the Universal Access Symbol, and presentations will be equipped with accessible queues. Wheelchair and scooter rentals will be available in the Student Union Memorial Center at Booth 104.

Three groups of portable restrooms can be found on the south side of the UA Mall, and all buildings open for the event will have available restrooms. A family restroom is located on the first floor of the Main Library near the entrance to the elevators. These restrooms are all handicap accessible.

Follow Kelly Dorney on Twitter.

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