Jessica Howard / February 26, 2015
One Festival veteran and local book blogger shares her favorite tips for attending the Festival.
Even though it's March, Tucson gets sunny and if you're waiting in line for an author or event, you may get quite hot. Sunscreen and water are usually a plus. But two years ago there was a freakish cold day - and umbrellas and sweaters were needed.
There are tons of great story and music times, and lots of other free and interactive things to do. And odds are good that you'll even get to meet one of your favorite book characters!
Finding new authors, and exploring new genres is part of what makes the TFOB so great.
Plan to skip a seminar or two so that you have time to wander around, enjoying the crowd and events. There are bands playing, circus performances, interactive games, and countless book-related tents to visit. (Pro tip: if there's an author you desperately want to see, skip the seminar before theirs. That way you'll have wandering-around-time, and you can line up early to make sure you get in to see the author you really want!)
There are lots of great local vendors providing fantastic food ranging from pizza to tamales to salads in the main food court area. You can also buy kettle-corn, lemonade, coffee, and other treats at vendors spread along the main Festival area.
It's so fun to get your books signed! There are also lots of Festival tents where you can buy books too, if you'd rather not lug them around all day.
The Festival area is quite large and involves a lot of walking back and forth. You'll want a backpack or tote bag for all those books you'll probably end up buying, plus many of the vendors give away small items - bookmarks, frisbees, pens, etc.
The main mall area gets really congested. If you have children too small to handle the walking, plan to carry or wear them. It's not worth trying to maneuver a stroller through those crowds. (Speaking from experience here...)
Science City is basically a festival-within-a-festival that has all kinds of awesome hands-on things to do. This year, Science City will have five "Neighborhoods" to visit: Everyday Life, Natural World, Tomorrow, You, and Pi.
Jessica Howard is a blogger at Quirky Bookworm.