Tucson Fesitval of Books

The event to support literacy in Southern Arizona runs March 12-13 on the UA campus. Last year, organizers relied on more than 1,800 volunteers for setup, cleanup and variety of booths. So far this year, the festival is 200 people short.

The Tucson Festival of Books, expected to draw more than 80,000 participants, 400 authors and 300 exhibitors to the University of Arizona campus March 12-13 for entertainment, activities and food from several local restaurants, is seeking volunteers.

Last year, the event relied on more than 1,800 volunteers for setup, cleanup and variety of booths. So far this year, the event is 200 people short.

The Tucson Festival of Books will be held on the UA Mall, along East University Boulevard stretching from Old Main to just east of Cherry Avenue, and in a few nearby buildings. There will be free public parking available in the University's surface lots and in six garages: Cherry Avenue, Highland Avenue, Main Gate, Park Avenue, Sixth Street and Tyndall Avenue.

ImageThe festival events begin at 10 a.m. each day with the last of the day's events beginning at 4 p.m., and admission is free. The festival map is the key to finding all the events being offered during the two-day extravaganza.

The main sponsors of the event are the Arizona Daily Star and the University of Arizona, which began the event three years ago to support literacy in Southern Arizona.

Hundreds of UA employees assist in all aspects of the festival including volunteering, speaking on panels, reading from their own books, inviting outside authors to participate and serving on year-round festival committees.

The Arizona Daily Star also commits the time of most of its employees to the festival and is responsible for creating and publishing the 48-page festival program. The section includes two pullouts with the complete schedule of events and activities.

The newspaper also hosts the Daily Star Pavilion. This year the Star will celebrate great storytellers and book collectors and feature the headline authors Frank Deford, Jonathan Eig and writing guru Roy Peter Clark.

Many individual UA departments will host exhibition tents and activities during the festival including the UA BookStores, BIO5 Institute, the UA Poetry Center, Special Collections at the UA Libraries, UANews, Arizona Public Media, University Medical Center and the Diamond Children's Medical Center.

To help get the festivities started, the UA BookStores Children's Area will host the Storybook Character Breakfast, a fun-filled breakfast with your favorite storybook characters. The parade to the children's area following the breakfast marks the official opening of the 2011 Tucson Festival of Books.