Westchesterites Celebrate Reading At a Spectacular first time Festival in Chappaqua
By Lindsay Hand
The smiles on the children’s faces said it all.
After months of planning, the first annual Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival was a resounding success. People flocked from all over town and throughout the County to the Robert E. Bell Middle School.
The festivities included books, books, and more books, author encounters and signings, impromptu readings, crafts, music, a Jodi’s Gym play area for kids fitness, balloon making (“The Balloon Man”), a balloon grand entrance (Joy’s Balloons), hundreds of healthy picnic lunches from The Good Dish, and of course, a dazzling array of delicacies from the Great Chappaqua Bake Sale.
Even before the festival officially opened at 10 a.m., young visitors were meeting their favorite authors, having their new purchases autographed, and even hugging favorite characters like Clifford, Biscuit, and Bad Kitty.
Cashiers were scrambling to ring up customers’ purchases, and by the end of the day, many of the authors had sold every single one of the books that they had brought. Even teenagers–clearly not the target audience–were a bit star struck meeting and talking to their favorite childhood authors! For a break from walking around, visitors enjoyed author readings in the church garden and activities on the grass presented by the CCBF’s many generous sponsors. Aurora owner and CCBF Executive Director Dawn Greenberg and her team of organizers and volunteers were thrilled with the turnout and community support of what was truly a labor of love, and already have plans in the works for the second annual CCBF September 27, 2014.
If today’s incredible event was any indication, the best is yet to come!
Lindsay Hand (Greeley 2014) was guest editor of the “Greeley Dream Team” September/October 2013 Inside Chappaqua Edition and its advance coverage of the festival by Sarah Jane Weill and cover art by Ari Bennett.
Editor’s Note: Great news from Allison Spiegel: “Our town was alive with enthusiasm for children and literacy, and The Great Chappaqua Bake Sale was honored to be a part of it. We wanted to let you know that so far, we have raised more than $19,626 and still counting. We surpassed our goal of raising $13,000 thanks to the generosity of the families and businesses in and around Chappaqua. We are especially grateful to the book festival team including Dawn Greenberg for their amazing commitment to this event and to author, Victoria Kann for donating her time to our efforts to help end childhood hunger. These monies raised will help fund meals programs in New York state that feed hungry children–and what a difference it will make!