Rain or shine, Festival of Books plans for thousands of book lovers
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Organizers were keeping an eye on the sky Friday as they prepared for the Tucson Festival of Books.
The Festival depends on outdoor venues on the University of Arizona Mall. Tents flapped in stiff winds as volunteers set up signs and bookshelves.
KGUN 9 reporter Craig Smith asked volunteer Gigi Schneppat: "What have your hours been the last couple of days?"
"Very early," she said, "6:30 or 730 and then Sunday night we have to clean everything up and take everything down so, we'll be here 'til 7:30, 8:30, 9:00."
Smith asked volunteer Derek Rogers: "When you look at that sky, what do you think?"
Rogers said, "Hope it does not rain but I don't think it will. It's been a beautiful day so far. The temperature's cooled down a little bit. It makes it more pleasant to be out helping out."
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild likes the way the book festival helps build literacy and helps bring more people to Tucson.
The mayor said, "I was just speaking with Brenda Viner who is one of the founders and organizers. She's been on the phone with the airport. They're seeing their traffic way up this week and people come in from all over the country now. Not just the presenters but it has really become a regional attraction."
Karla Jordan came from Wisconsin to set up her shop at the Festival.
Craig:Smith asked her: "What makes this Festival important enough to be worth coming all the way from Milwaukee?"
"It's unique, "she said, "It's different. I think it's one of a kind in this country and I think other Universities should look at it to grow from it."
Late Friday, organizers made an optimistic decision. They had considered keeping most of the books indoors, near the U of A classroom and auditoriums where authors will speak. The books would normally be in tents, where authors would sign books later. They decided they will bring the books to the tents.
Regardless of what the weather may bring, you'll probably have a better time if you plan your visit to this sprawling event. The guide you'll find here will help you plan everything from which author session you'll visit, to the best places to park and eat.