By Annette Smith, Community Relations, Hutchinson Public Library
The Hutchinson Public Library hosted the Prairie Book Festival on September 25, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the library grounds. The Festival was a celebration of reading, writing and literature and featured a combination of Kansas authors, with book sales and autographing; storytelling and crafts for children; book valuations; memoir readings; musical entertainment and other attractions.
Eleven Kansas authors spoke at 30 minute intervals beginning at 10 a.m. in the Presenters’ Tent. Authors included Steven Farney, McPherson; B.D. “Bonnie” Tharp and Bob Gress of Wichita; Jim Hoy, Emporia; as well as Hutchinson authors Steven Hind, Dr. Mark Fesen, Bill Sheldon, Carol Murray, Marilyn Hope Lake, Sgt. Jim Potter, and Robert Hannigan. Their book topics covered a wide range, including sports, inspirational, nature photography, Kansas history, poetry, cancer treatment, pets, and law enforcement. Most all of the authors had books available for purchase and autographing immediately following their presentations.
Author Bonnie Tharp presents
Several more authors sold and autographed their books throughout the day in the Vendors’ Tent. Kay Kile, Fredonia; Carolyn Saylor, Lyons; Hazel Hart and Bonnie Eaton, Wichita; Roberta and Ramona Lampe, Garden Plain; and Judy Knepp, Augusta. Community groups in the Vendors’ Tent were the Hutchinson/Reno Arts & Humanities Council; the Hutchinson Art Center; William Allen White Children’s Book Award, Emporia; Kansas Kids More Than a Museum; Reno County Genealogical Society; Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); and the General Federation of Womens’ Club (GFWC). Also in the Vendors’ Tent, “antiques road show” type book valuations were given on a first come, first served basis by Gene Medenwald of Stafford.
In the Reading and Story Tent, Mini Memoir readings were presented beginning at 10:15 a.m. by local writers Dottie Gibson, Larre Eschliman, Betty Ritterhouse, Taliatha Holmes, Jewel Yoder, and Nancy Sliker. These writers all participated in the “Mini Memoirs” writing workshops sponsored by our Friends group, which were taught by Friends board member Sheila Lisman last year at the library. At noon, library director Gregg Wamsley read the best 100 word fiction story written by Ros Manchego, since she wasn’t able to attend the festival. Winner of the PBF limerick contest, Joleen Arnhold, recited her entry and Joyce Connard read her winning longest sentence. All three entries are posted on the library’s homepage, www.hutchpl.org. Storytelling was done by Lisa Vargas, Youth Services Coordinator at Wellington Public Library.
Lisa Vargas, Wellington Public Library
Children who weren’t listening to the storyteller could stop by the garage area near the tents to make come and go crafts. Anyone who was thirsty or in need of a snack could purchase one from the Bru Crue Coffee Bar inside the library or visit their remote location outside under the Vendors’ Tent.
The Hutchinson/Reno Arts & Humanities Council director, Mark Rassette, arranged for several musical groups to perform. Jazz was performed by the Anthony Panek Group from 10-11:30 a.m. and the Almost Jazz Combo played from 1-2:30 p.m. Woodwind trio Tras Blas played classical pieces from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and folk music was performed inside by the Muddy River Methodists from 2:30-4 p.m. The music served as a pleasant background and gave a festive air to the event.
Despite the rain that suddenly swept through in the afternoon so the last few events had to be moved inside, we had a very successful day. The Festival was jointly sponsored by the Friends of the Hutchinson Public Library, the Hutchinson Public Library, and the Hutchinson/Reno Arts and Humanities Council. For more, take a look at our PBF web site: www.prairiebookfestival.com .