This year's Philadelphia Book Festival isn't just about reading. Sure, Barbara Walters will be talking about her new tell-all memoir, Bernadette Peters will read from her new picture book, and Ellie Krieger will bring her cook book know-how to you.
But this year's event, just the second one in Philadelphia, also will feature a Gaming Gallery, live music and special events for kids.
"We have lots more booths and tents and folks coming to talk about their books this year," says Sandy Horriocks, vice president of communications and development for the Free Library of Philadelphia. "So there's more of everything and more excitement."
Here are a few highlights along the Ben Franklin Parkway:
On Saturday, the festival offers a parade of storybook characters - Elmo, the Berenstain Bears, Winnie the Pooh, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Pat the Bunny, Maisy, Lilly Toot & Puddle, monsters from
Where the Wild Things Are
characters on Vine Street.
On Saturday and Sunday, more than 60 authors will be reading and talking about their books in special staging areas and as vendors along the Ben Franklin Parkway. Walters will be interviewed by 6ABC's Tamala Edwards at 5 p.m. Sunday. Like the rest of the festival, it's free, but seating is limited and tickets must be picked up at the Library Clubhouse (in front of the library) on Sunday, beginning at 2 p.m.
Kids of all ages (including adults) can check out the Gaming Gallery, which will feature the Wii, Xbox and PlayStation. If you've never tried Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution, now is your chance.
Who says you have to be quiet at a library festival? Live music is part of the weekend's events. Cantare, Guy Davis, Benoit Bourque, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, Ljova and the Kontraband, Catherine Russell, the Marta Gomez Quintet and Emeline Michel will bring everything from American blues to South American folk to the festival. A must-see is Alo Brasil, an energetic Brazilian music and dance show that consistently sells out concert halls. They play at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Organizers encourage visitors to use two trolleys running especially for this event. They will pick up at 16th and Locust (the end of the PATCO High Speed Line) and Suburban Station. Like the festival, the trolleys are free.