Student Ambassador Kara Smoot's Baltimore Book Festival Experience
Music, food, performances, and books! What more could you ask for? Baltimore’s 22nd annual Book Festival kicked off during the weekend of September 22nd to the 24th. This was my first time attending the festival in years (even though I’m a major book nerd). I was impressed by the turn out. There were thousands of people of all ages, from near the aquarium all the way to the Science Center!
What caught my eye was the center stage where several performers sang songs or recited their poetry. Before browsing from tent to tent, I walked over to a grassy area and watched some students recite lines from Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe (Baltimore’s very own). Just sitting on the grass and watching storytellers act out different scenes was very cool and engaging. There were books of all genres in the tents. I was able to browse a good variety of books from science fiction to romance, they had it all!
I found the book festival to be very affordable for students on a budget, where some price deals included two dollars per book. Needless to say, I didn’t leave the festival empty handed!
The festival had more than just books, there was a lot of interesting art on sale as well. Under one tent I came across some hand-decorated boxes to hold paper and pens, along with glasses painted in different colors.
Another thing I liked about the festival was that you didn’t just shake an author’s hand and leave with a signed book. Actually meeting the author and discussing their book was a powerful experience being a writer myself. On one stage, everyone had a chance to listen to the authors speak about their book and experiences that inspired their writings. You could actually interact with the writer during a Q&A which I thought was a great opportunity to get to know your favorite author. It was cool to see young readers so excited about books and writing in general.
Overall, the book festival captured the creativity and quirkiness of the Baltimore arts community and was a pretty fun event. Every tent I walked into was different and there was so much to check out at the harbor. There was something at the festival for everyone, it didn’t matter if you were a book lover or preferred poetry. The live performances and food made it a great outing for anyone.
This is definitely a festival I wouldn’t want to miss again. I look forward to coming back next year!