On Sunday, November 17th, the Miami Book Fair International opened for the 30th year. The event is presented and produced by The Center for Theatre and Literature at Miami Dade College. Miami Dade is the largest of the Florida colleges and prides itself on its diversity. The event is a huge fair for book lovers, who travel from all over the country to see more than 500 authors give presentations, talk to fans and sign books. The event occurs in downtown Miami where a lot of people can escape the cold winter temperatures and enjoy the beautiful weather and beaches. It’s one of the most successful and largest book fairs in the entire country and draws in all different types of people. This is because new book categories are always being added and more authors want to see their fans in person.
This fair wasn’t always as popular as it is today, but the numbers have been steadily increasing over the last 30 years. This is a result of event coordinators establishing more presentations and events that participants can sign up for. The different authors are the big draws for attendees, as many of them get to meet their favorite writers. This year there are a lot of difference appearances that start on Sunday and last throughout the week. On Sunday, Dan Brown, the writer of “The Da Vinci Code”, was the major star of the fair. Next Sunday attendees can expect to see Vice President Dick Cheney make an appearance and talk about his book about his experience going through a heart transplant.
Other authors who will make appearances at the fair include: Erica Jong who wrote “Fear of Flying”, Anjelica Huston, Carl Hiassen and Edwidge Danticat. Event coordinators have had to implement more security measures since 9/11 and this has caused tickets to rise from $10 to $15 each. Most attendees are okay with the rise in price, especially since the fair has attracted celebrities and well-known authors that would otherwise be difficult to see in person. Attendees can also purchase tickets to weeknight “Evenings With…”, which feature different authors who speak and interact with audiences.
Event coordinators have also started adding graphic novel and comic books into the fair, which appeals to a wide variety of people and keeps the fair up to date with cultural trends. There’s also a Spanish language program that draws in a more diverse group of people. Visitors at the fair can even see celebrity chefs who have written some of the most popular cooking books out there. This is something that they combine with the local Miami Culinary Institute, which can include tickets to dinners along with books. Even children and teens can find fun things to do at the fair, as there are special programs implemented just for them. This means it’s a family-friendly event that just about anyone can have fun at.
The coordinators of the event recognize that the fair is nothing without the audience that attends. This is why they are always looking for new ways to keep things fresh and fun for those who visit. They include local businesses, make sure to tap into all groups and will appeal to anyone who is passionate about books. Every year it’s a great place for the fair, since the weather ensures everyone can enjoy being outside without the dropping November temperatures bothering them.