The Vegas Valley Book Festival, the largest literature event in Las Vegas, will be held Nov. 4-8, with most events taking place at the Historic Fifth Street School downtown. Now in its eighth year, this annual community festival was founded on the simple premise of bringing together those who write books and those who love to read them.
The five-day festival will be hosted by the city of Las Vegas, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Nevada Humanities and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 229-5431 or go online to www.artslasvegas.org.
Almost 100 writers, primarily Nevada authors, will participate in this year’s festival. As in previous years, the festival will celebrate contemporary literature, fiction and nonfiction in all genres, with readings, panel discussions, book signings, workshops, poetry and spoken-word performances, exhibitions, children’s literature, comics and special events.
Originally known as the Las Vegas Grammar School, the Historic Fifth Street School is located at 401 S. Fourth St. This 1930s Mission-style building was restored and reopened in 2008, and has become a cultural hub in the heart of downtown. Other festival venues include the Clark County Library at 1401 E. Flamingo Road and 18b Las Vegas Arts District at Charleston Boulevard and Casino Center.
In keeping with tradition, a pair of keynote authors will open and close the book festival:
Kay Ryan, the Poet Laureate of the United States, presents the opening keynote on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Historic Fifth Street School. Ryan, known for her compact poems that revel in wordplay and internal rhymes, is making her first appearance in Las Vegas.
E.L. Doctorow, one of America’s most accomplished and acclaimed living writers, presents the closing keynote on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Clark County Library auditorium.
A companion to the Vegas Valley Book Festival, the Target Children’s Book Festival 2009 will take place on Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outdoors on Centennial Plaza at the Historic Fifth Street School campus. The festival and events are free and open to the public. Free parking will be available at the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse at 333 Las Vegas Blvd. South, directly across from festival grounds at Lewis Avenue and Fourth Street.
The Target Children’s Book Festival, the largest annual children’s literary event in Las Vegas, will present local authors, informational booths, exhibitions, hands-on activities, theatrical performances, storytellers, free books, costumed characters and much more.
Participants can make crafts, buy books and have them signed by the authors, listen to storytellers, visit with authors, receive book giveaways, sign up for a library card, meet costumed characters, read with the Running Rebels, watch theatrical performances, examine a printing press (hands-on exhibit), visit science projects and information booths, and more.
By press time, confirmed event participants already included Clark County Reads, VegasParent, Invent-A-Book, Talking Books, Book Pals, Tails To Tales, Vegas PBS Ready to Learn Program, Clark County School District, Mad Science of Las Vegas, Read To Me, Nevada Kids to Kids Spread The Word, Stephens Press, Las Vegas Review-Journal, UNLV Athletic Department, and the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. Many more participants are expected. Music will be provided by DJ Tony of Pure Energy Productions.
The event is presented by the city of Las Vegas and Target, with support from the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Nevada Humanities and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
For more information or to sign up as a children’s book author, participant or volunteer, call 229-4614.