Gaithersburg Book Festival

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is a family-oriented event, with a number of activities for kids of most ages.  From making crafts to enjoying story time with Dr. Seuss, kids were running around and laughing.

The layout of the tents is circuitous, but at least there were enough trees to provide shade.  A number of tents housed sponsors of the event, and some of them had nothing to do with books or reading.  However, this shows that support for reading is still out there among companies.  Members of First Book, the Writers Center (Hi, Kyle!), local authors, local publishers (Hi, Dan of Atticus Books), and more were on hand to discuss their various programs and books.

There were demonstrations, music, and readings, plus workshops.  Unfortunately, I was a bit distracted looking for a bathroom with a changing table for about 15 minutes as the information booth volunteers weren’t that helpful.  We ended up in city hall using a desk — a bit inconvenient.  We did get a chance to check out the book buying tent by Barnes & Noble and the Friends of the Library used book sale, which was mostly kids books — books geared for those reading on their own.  I did learn a little bit about the Reading Tree — Books for Charity and their drive to collect books and recycle them back into the school system and among disadvantaged/needy families in the local area.  What a great cause, and it keeps those used books out of landfills.

One of the most entertaining events in the kids tent was the Unicycle/Recycle lady.  I’ve included a picture of her, but you can check out more photos of her, here (you’ll also see some photos of us and Wiggles).  She had a dog/sidekick named Enzo, which I wondered if he was named after Garth Stein’s Enzo.  They fight against litterbugs together, and the dog does tricks…though not always when he’s supposed to.  It was certainly entertaining, but she was getting shooed off the stage because her program ran over.  We thought she needed an assistant to set up her juggling stuff and various unicycles for her, since that took the longest.

Overall, the event was a small family event that allows kids and parents some time outside on a nice sunny day.  Kids learn new things and enjoy crafts, while parents get to listen to their favorite local and not-so-local authors.

Gaithersburg, MD, Book Festival

Gaithersburg, Md., has its own book festival once a year, and this is the first time I’ve heard of it.  Thank goodness for Facebook!

The festival happens this Saturday, May 21, and will feature some old favorites like Aviva Goldfarb (with a cooking demonstration) and Sarah Pekkanen.  Check out the list of authors at the festival; here’s the whole list.  Also check out the book signing schedule.

Beyond the panel discussions, there also are free workshops and those you must pay for (and for $10 how can you go wrong?).

From young adult and children’s books to adult fiction and nonfiction, this festival has it all, and there are local authors leading workshops and panel discussions.  What I’m most looking forward to is the Friends of the Library used book sale (naturally) and the poetry readings at the Ogden Nash Coffee House.

What’s the best part?  The festival is free to enter and the parking is free too!

Have you been to the Gaithersburg Book Festival?  What are you waiting for?

Be there on the Gaithersburg City Hall Grounds, Saturday May 21, between 10 am and 6 pm.