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Grand Park BookFest celebrates local bookstores and all things literary

By Hayley Fox
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013, at 08:41AM
Hayley Fox/blogdowntown

Saturday March 2 the Grand Park will host BookFest, an all day event celebrating reading and literacy.

Downtown's Grand Park continues to gain programming speed with a BookFest scheduled for next weekend.

This all-day event celebrating all things literary is part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day.

Julia Diamond, director of programming for Grand Park, said the event will bring together "some of Los Angeles’ best independent publishers, book sellers, community groups and performers," to promote the importance of reading.

The BookFest is scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Grand Park. Kids' storytime, arts and crafts, musical performances and pop-up book shops will be sprawled across Block One and Two of the park, stretching from Grand Avenue to Hill Street.

Downtown's own The Last Bookstore will set up shop selling books, doing readings and teaming up with Writ Large Press, which represents select L.A.-based independent publishers. Boyle Heights' Libros Schmibros will be on hand hosting giveaways and 826LA, the writing and tutoring center, will be giving out literacy information.

And if you don't have money to actually purchase a book from one of the retailers at the event, there will be four mini lending libraries set up with a "take a book, leave a book" policy. Led by the non-profit Little Free Library, these borrowing banks are based on the honor system and encourage people to bring a book they no longer need in exchange for a new book they're interested in.

But of course, all this reading and learning may make you hungry, so food trucks including The Lobos Truck, the Mandoline Grill and Cool Cow will also be stationed at the park.

Director of Grand Park Lucas Rivera said the idea for BookFest actually came from the folks who use the park on a regular basis.

“This event evolved from our observations of how the community embraces Grand Park; so many people visit with a book in hand and choose their favorite spot to enjoy a relaxing moment in the park – on one of the pink chairs, under a tree, at the base of the fountain, or with their coffee at a table,” said Rivera in a statement.

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