Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The LA Times Festival of Books - Feed your head! It's fun, and FREE!

For those of you who are in Southern California, we're less than two weeks away from my favorite event ever--the Los Angeles Times' annual Festival of Books, held on the campus of UCLA on April 25 and 26. I'm a life-long bookworm, and when I first attended way back in 2000, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven

If you've never been before, it's two days of books, authors, current events discussions, kids' activities, cooking demos, and more, on a scale you have to see to believe. The first book festival was held in 1996, and was an immediate success. It now sees more then 130,000 attendees each year and is the country's biggest and most prestigious book festival. And you thought LA was filled with shallow people who never read! It does this lit lover's heart good to see so many people turn out for an event centered around the book.

There's an impressive list of speakers and panelists, found here, most of whom also do book signings in designated areas after their appearances (good to know for those of you who collect books). A sprawling event on UCLA's beautiful campus, the festival also includes nearly 300 exhibitor booths representing booksellers (many of whom offer discounts to festival attendees!), publishers, literacy and cultural organizations. There are cooking demos by celebrity chefs, and countless activities and performances for children (and those of us who are kids at heart). The dining options have evolved nicely over the years, and there's now a pretty impressive food court set up, and vendors for the usual ice cream, bottled water and frozen lemonade stationed around the festival area. The weather is always glorious, too (so don't forget to bring your sunscreen). You can review the schedule of panels and speakers here, or look for the special section for the festival in this Sunday's Los Angeles Times (April 19).

Admission is free, but you'll need tickets to get into the formal author events. Tickets will become available on Sunday, April 19, 2009, at 12 noon through Ticketmaster.com for a nominal fee of $.75 per ticket. Tickets will also be available at select Southern California Ticketmaster locations including select Macy’s locations, Ritmo Latino, at the Beverly Center’s information booth. These tickets are free with a $.75 service charge both online and participating retailers. In the interest of promoting literacy, Ticketmaster has reduced its normal service charges to this nominal amount. There will be a small number of tickets reserved for same-day pickup at a special area at the festival, but they begin handing them out at 8 a.m. and they go fast. I was there last year at 7:15 a.m., because I'd missed my Ticketmaster window of opportunity, and there was already a line of over 100 people in front of me!

And for those of you who aren't in the Los Angeles area, don't feel left out--a quick google search turned up similar book festivals all over the country, including festivals in Baton Rouge, Philadelphia, Tucson, Nashville, South Dakota, Atlanta, Austin, Delaware, Brooklyn, and on and on. Seek out these events, because they're great fun.

1 comment:

  1. There will also be a Green Book festival in LA on April 22. The Breen Grrls love that their friend BudgetGirl is fashion forward AND quite green.

    Green Grrl1