The 32nd-annual Miami Book Fair International, hosted by Miami-Dade College, will officially commence on Sunday, Nov. 13. Deemed one of the largest literary festivals in the nation by many of its sponsors, the book fair aims to garner as many as 100,000 visitors this year based on statistics from previous years.
The Miami Book Fair was founded in 1984 by Miami-Dade College (MDC) Wolfson Campus and a number of independent bookstores as Books by the Bay, a two-day celebration of the literary arts where visitors are free to roam a number of pavilions designed to cater to all types of readers. By the 1990s, the street fair steadily grew to become the largest literary festival in the country, attracting massive crowds on an annual basis.
During this time of year, the streets of the MDC Wolfson Campus area are lined with colorful tents that feature works by hundreds of renowned national and international authors. Each of these authors will be appearing in the Festival of Authors, one of the many highlights of the widely anticipated weekend-long Street Fair where visitors are invited to hear writers talk.
This year, authors include Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, LGBT activist Jim Obergefell, Mexican-born American journalist Jorge Ramos and “Maus” creator Art Spiegelman. These authors will host panels and discussions during the fair, and some of these authors will be open to questions and book signings.
Aside from catering to book lovers, the Miami Book Fair also offers an extensive list of programs and events. Some of the more popular programs include the Children’s Alley, a small hub that gives younger visitors the opportunity to engage in educational, kid-friendly activities and earn free books.
Children’s books, along with books intended for mature audiences, will be sold in booths surrounding the Children’s Alley. These booths, many of which will be unveiled during the weekend-long Street Fair, will be exhibited by notable bookstores, libraries, and publishers such as Books & Books, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and The Miami Herald.
The full list of booths and exhibitions, along with the Book Fair’s official schedule of author events, can be found on the official Miami Book Fair website, miamibookfair.com. The weekend-long Street Fair is set to start on Friday, Nov. 18, with author events starting as early as Nov. 13 at the MDC Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami. Street Fair Admission is free but certain events require tickets. For more information, visit miamibookfair.com.