Tucson Festival of Books returns in full force this weekend

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 6:34 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Tucson Festival of Books kicks off this weekend at the University of Arizona.

This will be its second year back in person since the pandemic and it will finally be back to its full scale.

Organizers expect around 150,000 visitors. On Friday, volunteers and authors were out putting the finishing touches on their set up and there’s a lot of excitement to see the festival back in full force.

“This is something we start the Monday after the festival and we work for a year. Seeing it come to fruition like this is just such an exciting thing for all of us,” said David Nix, co-chair of the steering committee for the Tucson Festival of Books.

Authors, volunteers, and organizers have been gearing up all week. This will be the first time that the festival is back to 100% since 2019. In 2020, the festival was canceled because of the pandemic and in 2021, it was held virtually.

″Last year we came back at about 65-75% of our pre-pandemic size and it was great. It wasn’t the biggest festival we had, but it was the happiest,” Nix said. “This year, fingers-crossed, we’re back to normal.”

Some authors have had to cancel due to the weather. This year there will be around 400 authors, including some big names like Bernie Sanders and Tucson icon, Linda Ronstadt.

“Pro-tip on those sessions, if you don’t have a free advance booking, line up early because there’s high demand for those sessions,” Melanie Morgan, executive director, recommended. “But, there are lots of other really fantastic things happening.”

If you were at the festival last year, there will be new things this year that you haven’t seen.

“Western National Parks is back and we are so incredibly excited. They were unable to join us last year because of the pandemic. We also have a couple of new teen areas this year,” Morgan explained.

There are also workshops for teens, a book character parade on opening day, and a literary circus. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.

She said, “it’s a great literacy thing. It gets kids excited about reading. Obviously, it gets adults excited about reading, but then it helps the community throughout the year.”

The festival runs from 9:30 to 5:30 on Saturday and Sunday. Organizers recommend getting here early, especially if you’re hoping to meet certain authors.

You can find more details HERE.