Old Town Library hosts annual Book Fest kickoff party

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Collegian | Mykyta Botkins

A child sitting on an adult’s lap at the Fort Collins Book Fest Feb. 3. The Book Fest is held in the Old Town Library in Fort Collins.

Sophia Masia, Staff Reporter

The Fort Collins Book Fest kickoff party took place at Old Town Library Feb. 3, celebrating the eighth annual Book Fest. 

The Poudre River Public Library District is partnering with Colorado State University’s department of english and CSU Libraries to commence the beloved event. Open Feb 1., Book Fest brings free literary events to the public, such as signings with local authors, writing workshops, author panels, literary brewery nights and more.

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Throughout the month of February, there will be a variety of activities held at various locations in Fort Collins. 

The kickoff was a big hit. Students, authors and children of all ages attended the festival. The event featured local improv troupe The Story Bakers as well as a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy.

“The month-long celebration truly lifts the voices of local and regional authors and provides opportunities for up-close connections among book lovers.” -Diane Lapierre, Poudre River Public Library District executive director

Juliana Gonzales, a recently established Fort Collins local who often comes to Old Town Library to study and read, is looking forward to the literature celebration.

“I didn’t even know this was going on,” Gonzales said. “I just moved to Fort Collins, and I love that we do these kinds of things.”

Like many others at the party, Gonzales was touched by the storytelling activities, such as writing inspirational words of your own to later be displayed on the wall for the guests to read.

“My favorite so far has been the writing of my story,” Gonzales said. “I love walking around and reading these little glimpses into people’s lives.”

According to its website, the Fort Collins Book Fest was created in 2016 by librarians, writers, book lovers and community members with the simple purpose of combining the community’s passion for the literary arts and unique cultural heritage in a celebration of literature, literacy and social conversation.

The theme changes each year in order to appeal to different members of the community. February is National Library Lovers Month as well as “I Love to Read” month, making the theme this year: “For the Love of Reading.” The goal is to bring together book lovers from all over Colorado to celebrate literature and foster an appreciation for reading. 

“We’re excited to offer a new format for our annual book festival,” said Diane Lapierre, executive director of Poudre Libraries. “The monthlong celebration truly lifts the voices of local and regional authors and provides opportunities for up-close connections among book lovers.”

In years past, the festival has presented themes such as “Food for Thought,” which focused on the ways literature and food are intertwined, as well as “Writings and Riffs,” which combined both music and literature. 

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Popular events during previous years included a talk by Michael Benson on his book “Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke and the Making of a Masterpiece” and performances by veteran folk songwriter-turned-author Loudon Wainwright III, catching the attention of Gov. John Hickenlooper, who attended the festival in 2016.

With such an exciting lineup planned for the 2023 FoCo Book Fest, it is sure to be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. 

To stay up to date on all the Book Fest events this month, check the events calendar on the Fort Collins Book Fest website

Reach Sophia Masia at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @sophie_masia.