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Monday 15 June 2015

52 Weeks: Week 23

Week 23: Bay Area Book Festival

I'm a little behind with last week's 52 Week Project post, but better late than never, right?

Not this weekend just gone, but the one before Berkeley celebrated the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival. It was a huge event lasting all weekend and taking up many of Downtown Berkeley's streets plus MLK Civic Center Park. We were busy with other plans on the Saturday so we headed there on the Sunday. (Mathilde and I did actually drop in briefly on our way home from the city on the Saturday but pretty much everything was packed up for the day).

There was all sorts of book fun set up with the centerpiece being Lacuna, an installation made up of book shelves around a (waterless) fountain. It looked pretty amazing when it was full of books but as visitors were allowed to take any book they liked, it was pretty empty by the time we arrive on the Sunday afternoon. Mathilde and I dropped by on our way home from a day in the city late on the Saturday so I was able to snap a few shots while it was still partially full of books.

Above the book shelf installation there were book covers suspended on wire as though they were flying.

Another installation that the girls loved was the inflatable forest, similar to the one they've seen many times at Maker Faire although unlit.

We walked around the streets checking out the market stalls and author signings. Along the way Ava and Lola picked up bee antennae hats (which you'll see them wearing in almost all the photos from now on!) and scored all sorts of stuff like free books, stickers, bookmarks, plush toys and vegetable seeds. They also tried their hand at letterpress and met the Geico gecko. They were a little worried he might try to eat them seeing as they were dressed like bugs!

From the Geico gecko we moved onto meet some real animals. There was a petting zoo set up and the girls loved having the chance to meet goats, ducks, chickens, sheep a cow and a donkey up close. And yes, Mathilde's feet were thoroughly cleaned after she left the petting zoo! She'd lost one of her moccasins a few days before and was without shoes over the weekend while we waited for the new pair to arrive.

Like at any festival, one of the highlights for the kids was the food. Where else can they eat so many unhealthy foods on a stick? Ok, there actually were some pretty decent food choices (I had Indian and Kim had a yiros/gyro) but the girls always jump at the chance to eat corn dogs! Ava was also excited when she spotted the chocolate dipped frozen cheesecake on a stick stand. She's been keen to try these in the past at various festivals but they've always sold out before we get there. This time she didn't leave disappointed. She finally got to try the cheesecake and she loved it, as did Mathilde who kept coming back to steal more of her sister's giant treat!

The Bay Area Book Festival was a fun event and I imagine that we'll be seeing it again - even bigger and better - next year.

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