Festival of the Book Kicks Off

By: Philip Stewart Email
By: Philip Stewart Email

March 21, 2007

Wednesday night's Festival of the Book event at the Omni Hotel was one of the first of many more to come over the next five days. It marks the thirteenth year of what has become a much anticipated event right here in Charlottesville.

One of the first events at this year's Festival of the Book was An Evening with radio host and author Neil Boortz.

It was an event sponsored by WINA that filled the ballroom at the Omni Hotel last night.

"The festival does such a great job of bringing talented authors here that really excite people, that deal with issues that people are concerned about, that are pertinent to them. When that happens and you marry the two together, you get excitement," said WINA Program Director Jay James.

That excitement runs through Sunday with two-hundred free events in and around town featuring readings, panels, and discussions with authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals.

"There's a lot of authors here coming in and I've heard people talking about it at work. It's great for us, it great for the economy around here," said Charlottesville resident Nancy Dixon.

Last year's festival broke records. More than twenty-six thousand people attended, including people from thirty-three states and some from as far away as Europe and India.

Many of these people are spending money on local hotels, restaurants, and stores.

Like last year, most of this year's events are free and are held on a first come, first serve basis, so just about anyone can take part.

"The schedule is also up around participating areas like U.Va, the Downtown Mall and Barracks Road Shopping Center, for the most part," said Program Director Nancy Damon.

For a complete schedule and other information, click onto the News Links section of our website.

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