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Louisiana Book Festival Returns to Downtown Baton Rouge

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The Louisiana Book Festival is returning to downtown Baton Rouge on Saturday, Oct. 29, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Festival-goers of all ages will celebrate books with more than 225 authors and panelists who are presenting and discussing their latest works. The festival is free and open to the public and takes place at the State Library of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Museum, the Louisiana State Capitol and its grounds.

More than 75 book-related organizations will have booths in the gardens between the State Capitol and the State Library. Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy exhibitions, demonstrations and performances. Visitors will also get a chance to buy books penned by the festival’s authors and have them sign their works at the Barnes & Noble bookselling and signing tent.

In 2009, the Louisiana Book Festival had more than 25,500 visitors, injecting nearly $2 million into the local economy. The festival was not held in 2010 due to state budget cuts. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, whose office oversees the State Library, has championed the Louisiana Book Festival’s return for 2011.

“The day I was inaugurated as Lieutenant Governor, I vowed to bring the Book Festival back,” Lt. Governor Dardenne said. “We knew that we had strong support and through the generosity of a private donor and other sponsors, we have done just that.”

While many of the programs are geared toward adult and young adult readers, the Young Readers Pavilion is a special area for children with performances by storytellers, as well as a wide assortment of crafts and activities. A cooking demonstration tent is featuring cookbook authors and chefs including John Folse and Rick Tramonto. Also, throughout the day, Louisiana musicians such as the Preservation Hall Trio and Chris Leblanc Band will perform.

“The Louisiana Book Festival has become a treasured Louisiana event that underscores the best of Louisiana’s rich culture,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “This event helps us build Louisiana’s culture of literacy.”

The festival kicks off with Edwin Edwards and his biographer Leo Honeycutt discussing Edwin Edwards, Governor of Louisiana and the presentation of the 2011 Louisiana Writer Award to acclaimed author James Wilcox.

The Louisiana Book Festival is co-sponsored by the Louisiana Library and Book Festival Foundation; the State Library of Louisiana; the Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism; Office of Lt. Governor and the Louisiana Library Foundation. It is funded through federal and state grants as well as private sponsors such as the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Barnes & Noble.

Information about attending or being a volunteer at the 2011 Book Festival is available at http://www.LouisianaBookFestival.org or by calling 225.219.9503.


October 19, 2011

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
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