In four years, the AJC Decatur Book Festival has grown into one of the largest gatherings of lit lovers in the United States. Some 70,000 people attended last year and with more scheduled authors and events at this weekend’s festival, expect even more.
The whole operation runs on the passion of readers and logistical wizardry, which means it’s easy to be overwhelmed, whether you’re dropping by to get a book signed or moving in Friday to stay the whole weekend. Use this guide to help you get started. Meanwhile, if any DBF veterans in the crowd have tips or recommendations, share in the comments!
GOT A SCHEDULE?
There are so many readings, signings, performances fashion shows, cooking demos, wrestling matches, the DBF is best enjoyed with a little planning ahead. Check out the full schedule online, check out the printer-friendly version at the bottom of that page. You can also pick up one of the thousands of DBF tabs dropped around Decatur — it’s the one with our lizard friend Bookzilla on the front. There’s a schedule inside.
Most Decatur Book Festival events are free and open to the public. Here are a few exceptions:
HOW TO GET THERE: DRIVING
There isn’t any DBF-specific parking. Instead, festival organizers ask drivers to rely on the lots, decks and metered spaces around downtown. Here’s a map of Decatur parking. (Meters are enforced Monday-Saturday; some of them have a pay-by-cell-phone option that’s easy to use.) Heed the signs that say “No Parking.” Even if it’s a big empty lot in the thick of festival activities, you can expect your car to be booted or towed.
HOW TO GET THERE: PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
I often recommend MARTA For busy public events, but it really doesn’t get easier than this. Most DBF activities are in the heart of downtown Decatur, within a few blocks of the Decatur MARTA station. If you don’t want to tangle with parking or traffic, there’s free parking available at other MARTA stations, including East Lake immediately to the west and Avondale Estates to the east. You can plan your trip on www.itsmarta.com.
STAY IN TOUCH
Tweeting from the festival? Attach the official festival hashtag, #bookzilla, to your Twitter messages. The official Decatur Book Festival Twitter is @dbookfestival and I’ll be tweeting the weekend on @insideaccess. There’s also a festival Tweetup at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Twain’s, 211 E. Trinity in Decatur. Blogging? Here’s info about the Decatur Book Festival Blog Tent.
There’s a lot going on, so reality isn’t always as simple as the schedule. Here are schedule changes we know of already:
For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.