Hundreds turn out for Farragut’s annual Book Fest for Children

Cold weather did not detract hundreds from attending the ninth annual Farragut Book Fest For Children.

They arrived wearing layers of coats, some covered by blankets. Some children dressed in costumes, such as fairy tale prin-cesses.

The free event, sponsored by Farragut Arts Council and Knox County Library Farragut Branch, drew about 1,000 people to Founders Park at Campbell Station on Saturday, April 9, Chelsey Riemann, Farragut public relations coordinator, said.

“It’s amazing the number of people who came out,” Sandy Dean, Arts Council vice chairwoman, said.

“We saw it online,” Lauren Keegan said. “This will be [2-year-old Penelope Keegan’s] first time, and she loves books.”

Farragut Book Fest for Children featured children’s book authors, storytellers, productions from Bright Star Children’s Theater, a used book sale at the library, Human Animal Bond in Tennessee’s Ruff Reader dogs, magician Michael Messing and a cast of characters from Hardin Valley Academy.

“It’s going beautifully,” Pam Ziegler, Arts Council chairwoman, said as she handed out bags to children. “The cast of characters are wonderful this year.”

The cast came from Hardin Valley Academy’s advanced theater class, Robert Warren, Hardin Valley Academy coach and theater instructor, said. HVA’s theater students dressed as such characters as “Alice in Wonder-land,” the Mad Hatter, Dorothy of “The Wizard of Oz,” Scarecrow, Ana, Queen Elsa, Pied Piper and Peter Pan and Wendy.

Warren said the school is about to present a production of “Peter Pan” so students got into their roles at Book Fest.

John Rodriguez of Farragut brought his granddaughter, Brianna Rodriguez, and her best friend, Savannah Wynn.

“They come every year,” Rodriguez said. “I love [the event]. This is our fourth year. We don’t miss it. We plan for it.”

“It’s a beautiful day,” Pat Buschle, who lives near Northshore, said. “We came last year, and it was great. It’s a wonderful event.”

Mary Mulherin, Farragut resident, brought her granddaughter, Fiona Mulherin, to Book Fest for Children.

“Fiona is visiting from Chicago,” Mary Mulherin said. “I saw this advertised and here we are.

“It’s perfect for visiting children.”

Suzanne Freeman, Friends of the Library member, said the used book sale was held by Friends of the Library in conjunction with the Town’s event, to get books and raise literacy.

”We are enjoying being part of this festival,” Freeman said. “All our books [for the sale] were donated by citizens.”

Kaye Miles brought her grandson, Kellan Gainey, to the book sale.

“He comes to story time on Mondays so he wanted to come and get some books,” Miles said.

“I saw the sign [for Book Fest] some time last week, so we came here this morning,” Wei Tang, Farragut resident, said. “We love books.”

“We’ve never been here before,” Kristina Parks said. “It’s a great local event. It’s close by and I’m really pleased that it’s free.”