Jul 02, 2009 Dennis Hayes Uncategorized
Central New York has a festival for almost every interest. There are celebrations for apples, maple syrup, antiques, cars, horses, blues, jazz, movies, Greek, Polish, Irish, Italian, Latino, Juneteenth and more.
Certainly the New York State Fair is our best known and attended festival but something is still missing from this impressive roster.
I believe it is, “Books.” Books and all that involves books, from the authors that write them, the editors that shape them, the designers who help create them, the printers that print them, the bookstores that sell them, and of course, you; The dear readers who love them and make books part of their lives.
Who has not been touched by a book in some way?
From early childhood memories learning to read through adulthood, books have been there through every phase of our lives, teaching us, entertaining us, enlightening us, invigorating and inspiring us. So, I believe it is time for CNY to celebrate books as only we can, with a street festival!
I had the great fortune to have spent nearly 20 years in the publishing world and during that time I had the opportunity to travel the entire U.S. participating in book festivals from Hawaii to NYC, from Miami to Seattle, from Chicago to Phoenix, Austin to LA, essentially, if there was a book festival happening, I was there. Don’t get me wrong, I am just as fond of any festival I come across, but there is something very special about book festivals, perhaps it is the common bond shared by all, exhibitors and attendees alike, that we all are there for our love of words and how they connect us to the world we live in.
I am now using words to propose that CNY host our own book festival and I would like to be the first to throw my hat, er, book into the ring! I would like to call on all who love books to help make this a reality.
I would like to propose the creation of a weekend festival, modeled somewhat after the book festivals in Austin, Miami and Los Angeles where there are satellite events around the festival, perhaps an award ceremony on Friday night honoring those individuals and businesses that are part of the world of books. After all, we have the “Sammy’s” for celebrating Syracuse musicians, why not a similar awards ceremony for authors, designers, editors, printers, booksellers and others that are involved with books?
Consider that CNY has a wealth of book resources, from authors such as Tim Green,Teri “Mrs Fixit” McGraw, Barbara Block, Michael Turback and more; publishers, such as Syracuse University Press, printers from the classic Boxcar Press to nationally recognized and awarded Monroe Litho who is 100 percent wind powered and also Bixler’s lead press.
And, in the “did you know” about CNY category, we have the all time best selling vegetarian cookbook “The Moosewood Cookbook” from Ithaca and our very own Dinosaur Bar-B-Que cookbook that besides being a national best seller was also the first Syracuse restaurant to publish a full blown four color cookbook?
CNY also has designers, artists, photographers and editors that perform publishing duties on a national scale. There are a variety of booksellers from independents such as Eastwood’s Books End and Books and Memories and Westcott’s Second Story Books to national chains Borders, and Barnes & Noble. There is also a couple of audio book recording studios.
Certainly there should be a presence from our local schools, colleges, universities and libraries, including a connection to the popular Gifford author series that supports the mission of Onondaga County Public Library.
I can see a book festival that could easily have more than 100 exhibitors and draw 25,000 or more.
The festival will be a place to see all these facets of book publishing under one roof, a place for families and individuals to share an afternoon together browsing books, meeting an author, enjoying a reading, learning how a book is made and more. We could even fill one section with books from and about CNY!
It will take a substantial effort to make this festival happen, but the reward will be priceless, and perhaps with this new festival, Syracuse can add recognition as not only the “Salt City,” “Home of the Orange” and “Emerald City,” but also the “Festival City.”
So, CNY, what do you say? Who will join me to help make this happen? Lets celebrate the book CNY style!
To get involved contact Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Hayes grew up in the University section of Syracuse and was a restauratuer in Ithaca before relocating to the Berkeley, CA on the west coast as Special Markets Director for Ten Speed Press. There he helped to publish the Dino’s cookbook. Now back in CNY, he is connected with Joey’s Restaurant, where he helped Joey’s publish its own cookbook.