Gaithersburg Book Festival

As I mentioned in my last blog post, my 5th-grade class wrote a play with John Morigello, a member of Best Medicine Rep. This play was chosen to be performed by Best Medicine Rep at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, and John had invited me and members of my school community to come to see the play.

As a Howard County native and someone who now lives on the opposite end of Montgomery County compared to Gaithersburg, I had not heard of the Gaithersburg Book Festival until now. I had no idea what to expect, so I expected nothing.

So, on May 18th, in the blazing sun (welcome, summer-y weather), I wandered over to Gaithersburg with two of my team teachers. As soon as we crossed from Gaithersburg High to the festival grounds, I knew we were in for an adventure.

There were white tents, food trucks, and people everywhere. One of the best parts? The first thing I passed through was a stand from Book Crossing, which was giving away free books. It’s kind of like a “traveling books” company. I was able to bring four novels home, excited for some beach reads.

We were running late for the performance and managed to run in halfway through scene 1. It was fantastic, especially seeing a few of my students in the front tables chomping on festival food, watching their parents performed by professionals.

After our play and another class’s play was over, we wandered around. The festival was so much bigger than I could ever expect. Tents featured things such as:

  • Guest authors speaking about their novels.
  • Dozens of local authors with their books. They were so lovely to talk to. We were not expecting to buy any but alas, two of us left with a new local read.
  • Performances!
  • The Politics and Prose Bookstore
  • Kid-friendly activities. One of my favorites was a multi-lingual story-time station.
  • So much food.

I sincerely wish I took more pictures, but I’m also thankful I had the opportunity to take it all in. With phones, Reddit, and Kindles seemingly taking over the world, it felt good to see that there were so many people attending a festival fully dedicated to books. I’ll be sure to attend next year.

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