5th Anniversary Celebration to Be Held at Historic Fort Hayes in Columbus
By David E. Weaver, Development Director
Saturday, May 7th, 2011 will be a fun-filled day to celebrate literacy, reading, writing, and especially Ohio authors and their works, as Ohioana presents the fifth annual Ohioana Book Festival from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This year, for the first time, the Festival moves to a new location: Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, located at 546 Jack Gibbs Boulevard in downtown Columbus. A historic site originally established as an army post by Congress in 1877, Fort Hayes is now home to one of the top ranking high schools in the United States.
“We are very excited to be holding our fifth anniversary event at Fort Hayes,” said Ohioana Executive Director Linda R. Hengst. “Fort Hayes has partnered with Ohioana since the first Festival, hosting one of our featured authors every year for a visit to the school. The school’s principal and director, Milt Ruffin, has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Festival and when we approached him to ask if the school might let us hold the 2011 event there, he said yes immediately.”
The beautiful campus and its facilities will provide ample space to accommodate the Festival, which has grown to become one of the largest and most popular events of its kind in Ohio and the Midwest. Since the first event was held in 2007, the number of authors has increased from ten to more than one hundred this May, and attendance has grown from 650 to more than 3,500.
Another important benefit of being at Fort Hayes will be the generous amount of parking, enabling Ohioana to continue offering the Festival as an event that is free and open to the public. There is no admission fee, no advance registration, and no ticket required. Hengst said, “It’s a ‘come as you are’ event for the whole family. And it’s a great way to get an early start on celebrating Mother’s Day.
First presented in 2007, the Ohioana Book Festival brings together readers of all ages with more than 100 Ohio authors representing every literary field and genre.
As in previous years, there will be a number of featured authors who come to Columbus early to do the outreach events and activities. The award-winning authors appearing this year are:
Mystery Writer Carrie Bebris
Suspense Novelist Lisa Black
Illustrator Tim Bowers
Children’s Author Andrea Cheng
Mystery Writer Robert Greer
Journalist Ted Gup
Children’s Author and Poet J. Patrick Lewis
Graphic Novelist Sandy Plunkett
Chef and Cookbook Author Bev Shaffer
Poet Maggie Smith
Our featured authors will arrive early to take part in several days of outreach programming, including media appearances and visits to schools, libraries, and other community venues. This programming brings the Ohioana Book Festival to an additional 20,000 people.
On May 7th, our featured authors will be joined by more than ninety additional writers for the main event at Fort Hayes. The day’s programming will include panel discussions, readings and conversations, children’s activities, a Barnes & Noble bookstore and Starbucks Café, book appraisals by the Aldus Society, and a special presentation by winners of the Ohioana Robert Fox Award for Young Writers and the Ohio Center for the Book’s Letters About Literature Award.
For a complete list of our 2011 authors, schedule, programming, community events, sponsors, and partners, visit the official Ohioana Book Festival website: www.OhioanaBookFestival.org
Ohioana received a LSTA grant from the State Library of Ohio in the amount of $4,999 to support the Ohioana Book Festival. State Library of Ohio staff will be there to promote Choose to Read Ohio. Choose to Read Ohio is a project that encourages reading and discussion of books by Ohio authors and is also funded through LSTA.
Mark your calendars now and join us at Fort Hayes on Saturday, May 7th for the 2011 Ohioana Book Festival!
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