Join the kick-off of the first annual Lewisburg Literary Festival on First Fridays After Five on August 3rd at 5pm in Downtown Lewisburg. From a meet & greet with authors at The Literary Town Square, an Edgar Allan Poe reading in the Old Stone Cemetery, and a unique interactive Literary Art Walk through town, to an impressive Poetry Jam and famous author face-painted moustaches … this festival is packed with creativity and fun for all ages! All events are free to the public.
Begin with a visit to the Literary Town Square at the Greenbrier Valley Visitors Bureau, featuring a meet and greet with West Virginia authors & regional publishers. Authors will be reading their works on stage throughout the evening.
Next, stroll through town and discover creative art & literature installations on every block. Starting with the City Green Space, witness an innovative artistic expression, called Yarn Bombing. Enjoy this 3-dimensional canvas, from knitted tree trunks, a knitted statue, to a knitted bicycle and knitted fence posts, while reading the accompanying short story. In the City Council Chambers, discover the Literary Laundry Room, an uncharacteristic photo exhibit that invites the public to become the authors.
As you walk through town, look up and you’ll spot Mark Blumenstein’s “Wally, The Wall Walker” climbing the walls of Harmony Ridge Gallery. Or step inside the Greenbrier Valley Visitors Bureau and discover a unique mixed media installation by Charleston Artist, Mark Tobin Moore. You will also discover the 7 foot tall Pirate Skeleton by artist Fred Conlon, standing guard in an alley off of Washington Street. Read about the pirate’s turbulent life and his misery.
Further down the road catch a glimpse of the Intergalactic Bounty Hunter, made of found objects chasing aliens in front of Brick House Antiques. Read the poem that accompanies a painting by Lynn Boggess in the window of Cooper Gallery and finally don’t miss the film short by Russell Williams in the windows of what used to be Sailor Crafts Woodworks.
Take a break in the City Greenspace to enjoy the tunes of local acoustic guitarist and singer Jim Snyder. A native West Virginian, Jim has been coined WV’s Jimmy Buffett. His tunes are easy listening, folk and pop. Jim will be performing until 9pm.
Keep your eyes peeled for periodic special impromptu performances by The No Pants Players throughout downtown. They are recognized as West Virginia’s best improv comedy. Prepare to be entertained.
Late evening, as the sun has set, at 9:20pm, see Edgar Allan Poe, as he appears in the Old Stone Cemetery. Take a seat and listen to a reading of his memorable works, “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee”.
Several shops are also hosting fun events throughout the evening. The Darling Exchange is offering a book exchange. Bring in up to 5 used children’s books and trade them for new used books. Kids can also participate in a “make your own bookmark” craft project. Honnahlee hosts a “Find It” literary challenge. Children are asked to find items from their favorite stories and win a “Find It’ game of their own. First National Bank will be giving away a free book for children ages 3 to 5. Wolf Creek Gallery is offering free face-painted moustaches. Choose a moustache from Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman and other famous authors and make it yours.
Harmony Ridge Gallery challenges you to a “Match Game”. Match up the quotes with the books successfully and enter a drawing to win a vintage book journal. Studio 40 hosts a show with Josh Miller, whose fanciful, colorful artwork will be based on characters and themes from books and movies. At Bella The Corner Gourmet, meet local chef, Hall Hitzig, The Crazy Baker, who is featured as a fantastic food creator in Southern Living’s “Off The Eaten Path” travel cookbook. Meet the chef, get your book signed, sample foods and listen to great WV food stories!
To top off the evening, an extraordinary line-up of poets will perform at The Irish Pub from 9:30pm to 11:30pm at a Poetry Jam: Tim Armentrout, local poet, performance artist & curator of this event, Andrew Peterson a Massachusetts based poet, Joseph Cooper, author of “Touch Me”, freelance writer Sarah Elkins and award winning poet Crystal Good from Charleston, WV, who is hailed as “an astonishing new voice into the national poetry circuit” by Huffington Post. Don’t miss this talented group of poets.
Live music can also be found at Plants Etc with Herding Cats and at the General Lewis Inn with Pushin’ String.
For more information about the festival call 1800-833-2068 or go to www.lewisburgliteraryfestival.com