10 Reasons Not to Miss the Tucson Festival of Books

The annual Tucson Festival of Books is one of the nation’s largest book festivals attracting over 100,000 festival goers each year to the University of Arizona mall. Over 350 authors will give presentations and hold workshops at this free festival open to the public from March 11th-12th. With activities for all ages, this event brings the community together. Event organizers comment that the festival is a huge success because “we offer programming for children and teens, panels by best-selling and emerging authors, a literary circus, culturally diverse programs, a poetry venue, exhibitor booths and two food courts.” 

This non-profit festival encourages literacy advancement through supporting and funding local literacy organizations. More than $1,450,000 has been raised to support literacy organizations. Thanks to a generous donation by member Antigone Books, Local First Arizona will be present at this year’s festival at Booth #401.  We encourage everyone to come down and enjoy one of Tucson’s don’t miss events.  Here are ten great ways to make the most of your time there.

1.   Meet and Greet Local Authors.  In addition to hearing amazing presentations, come visit Local First Arizona at Booth 401 and attend one of our member author signings.  On Saturday, Mar 11th at 10am. Bill Nordbrock of Tucson Business Club will be available to talk about “The Networking Book - Generating Referrals”. This helpful guide for local business owners is based on true stories and experiences, and shares best practices needed to maximize return on networking investment and at 2pm Hank Yuloff of Sedona Marketing will talk about “The Marketing Checklist 2: 49 More Simple Ways to Master Your Marketing”.  At 12pm on Saturday, meet with Megan Kimble, editor of Edible Baja Arizona. Kimble’s book “Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food” tracks her year long journey to learn where her food came from.  On Sunday, March 12th at 2PM, meet with Gina Murphy-Darling of Mrs.Green’s World, author of “Your Mother Called (Mother Earth) ...You'd Better Call Her Back” - all about how each of us can take small steps every day to live a more sustainable life and at 3PM on Sunday meet with Sheila Grinell, author of “Appetite”.

2.   Local food for All The Festival of Books has local food vendors on site to provide a variety of yummy foods to sustain you all day. Grab some tasty Hawaiian fare from Mama's Hawaiian, Bar-B-Cue, organic cotton candy from SpunLight or a delicious sandwich from local bakery Beyond Bread.

3.   Get in touch with Tucson’s History Stop by the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation at Booth #425 to learn about Tucson's environment and heritage.

4.   Find a Good Summer Read Support independent bookstores. Did you know that when you spend $100 at a locally owned bookstore about $43 on average stays in our community?  Shop from a chain and only $13 stays here.  Check out Bookmans Entertainment Exchange at Booth #457 & 458.  Bookmans buys, sells and trades used books, music, movies, video games, musical instruments. You’ll also find great selections of books at Mostly Books and the UA Bookstores.

5.   Bring the Kids The Tucson Festival of Books wants kids to come dressed up as their favorite story book characters. Join Clifford the Big Red Dog and parade around the University campus to kick off the Festival of Books. You can find the two day schedule of kid friendly readings and events here. Visit with the Tucson Children's Museum at Booth #337.

6.   Enjoy Entertainment From comedians to live music, there are endless entertainment opportunities at the Festival of Books. Story telling will be held in the student Union, as well as captured history. Events for women empowerment and men’s health can all be found on the schedule.

7.   Visit Science City.  Hosted by the UA's BIO5 Institute, the College of Science, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Science City is Arizona’s largest STEM Event.  Science City is an opportunity for visitors to the Tucson Festival of Books the opportunity to learn about research and experience innovation.

8.   Give back. Many nonprofit groups will be exhibiting at the festival. Stop by Ben’s Bells at Booth #356 to learn about the importance of intentional kindness.

9.   Learn a new skill.  The festival has several workshops on everything from Investigative Journalism to Navigating the Entertainment Industry.  Check out the full schedule of workshops and presentations here.

10. Support Local Businesses and Community Organizations Make sure to visit many of the Local First Arizona Members exhibiting at the festival.  At Booth #427, check out Arizona Highways Magazine , learn why it pays to keep your money local at Hughes Federal Credit Union at Booth #467,  Tohono Chul has books and activities featuring bees, birds, bats and butterflies at Booth #480 and Visit Tucson has resource for hotels, restaurants, attractions and more at Booth #498.