Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hawaii Book and Music Festival (May 17-18)

The 3rd Annual Hawaii Book and Music Festival This festival was fun, exciting, and best of all free! There were multiple stages for dramatic storytellers (they really get into it with yelling and action!) and talented local musicians (the soothing Hawaiian music could be heard throughout the festival grounds). The keiki area was impressive because of their bounce houses, carnival kiddie rides, and (none-in-Hawaii-yet)Target-sponsored canvas tote decorating tent. All free, even the tote bags! The Target dog mascot (human in a costume) was even there to take pictures with the kids. The Bank of Hawaii had a huge tent where people could bring old books from home to swap for new ones to enjoy. The friendly Honolulu Printmakers let kids make their own artsy prints to take home. Local publishers represented the voices of local writers. There were the major ones like University of Hawaii Press,Bamboo Ridge Press, along with many smaller, lesser known publishers. There were also author book signing sessions with local artists like Peggy Chun. Bamboo Ridge Press had a super deal on their books just for the festival. I got a brand new copy of Lee Cataluna's "The Folks You Meet In Longs" for $8 (normal retail is $14.95)!

There was a table also at the Bamboo Ridge Press area that had a mysterious message on t-shirts that said "Bumbye". You can check out what the buzz is about at bumbyehawaii.com. Barnes and Noble had a huge tent but further down that same row Revolution Books had also set up shop. Loved the diversity! Since it is a Hawaii themed festival there were also panels and serious discussions on issues that Native Hawaiians endure and concerns with Hawaiian language. It was great to see such a diverse representation of local talent (musicians, storytellers, and writers) and also local publishers that continue to help educate and entertain the community. This festival is for people of all ages who love words, spoken, sung and printed.

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