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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ROSARITO BEACH - Hundreds attend the Baja Book Festival

It was a perfect Baja day: words, wine, music, sunshine and more under arbors of red and orange bougainvillea and big shade trees. All that -- and the soft rock of the ATM Band -- created an ideal setting for the Baja Book Festival on Saturday, October 9. Authors, artists, vendors, musicians and nearly 600 people of all ages had a fun and festive day at the free event that took place at Joanna Jones Galeria y Café, at kilometer 47.6 on the free road, just north of the Cantamar/Primo Tapia toll road exit. Just 45 minutes south of the border, the event was sponsored by the Baja California Secretary of Tourism, the Rosarito Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Baja Bound, AMPI, the Grand Baja Resort, Corona, the Rosarito Beach Hotel, NitroCreatividadVisual, the Baja Good Life Club and the Baja Times.

Rosarito Mayor Hugo Torres toured the festival, visiting with all the authors (and buying many books along the way), and noted that Rosarito was proud to support this bicultural celebration of culture and art in October, which has been officially designated at the region’s cultural heritage month. Torres visited the event’s Children’s Magical Reading Room, that offered children’s books and activities in English and Spanish. He commented that it was an excellent way to encourage reading and learning at an early age, something he feels is vital for a strong future. One of the festival’s featured authors was Lilly Menches, an 11-year-old blogger/author who writes stories for young people on her blog, http://www.lilysstorygarden.blogspot.com/

Other featured authors at the event included Melinda Bates, Marsh Cassady, Peter Fowler, Mikel Miller, Paul Vanderwood, Robert Yourell, Teresa Olmos, Judy Botello, Greg Niemann, Tom Gatch, Martina, Daniel Salinas, Robert Yourell, Cora Kerr, Lin Robinson, Andrea Sharp and Kathleen Scott.

Jo Ann Knox, owner of Joanna Jones Galeria and co-organizer of the event along with public relations consultant Carla White, noted that the festival was pleased to welcome the Baja Writers Group, with authors including Lynn Doiron, Alice Donenfeld-Vernoux, Jacquelynne Garner, Harald Eric Josua Lankisch, and Barbara Keller. Published works by the group were for sale -- “Poems from the Cactus Cafe,” “Tails from the Baja Writers Workshop,” and stories and poems about animals. A huge festival highlight was delicious food by Splash! restaurant, Baja Sausage, Hogaza Hogaza, and a coffee area sponsored by Café Sospesso.

For more information about the Baja Book Festival (or to explore being a sponsor for next year’s event), visit www.bajabookfestival .com or email Carla_b_white@yahoo.com or joann.joannajones@gmail.com