When you think of Jackson, Mississippi, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't literature, but let me tell you why it should be. Saturday the annual "literary lawn party" unfolds on the historic grounds of the Mississippi State Capitol Building. What kind of party is this you ask? Let's just say everyone is going to get "LIT" and I don't mean with margaritas. The MS Book Festival is here! Remember how exciting the book fair in grade school was? Well this is the souped up, grown up version with a day full of live panel discussions, book signings, Mississippi Capitol Building tours, food trucks, live music and more.
Although the festival runs from 9am-4pm on Saturday, I suggest adding a few more stops. Make a weekend of it:
Lemuria- Although Lemuria will be one of the retailers at the festival, I think you should make a visit to the actual shop. There aren't many bookstores that have signed copies of so many MS authors and first editions. Banner Hall has other locally owned places to pop into while there. Grab a coffee and homemade pastry for breakfast from Broad Street Baking Co. Both of these places open at 8am Saturday. I'm not sure what time Fresh Ink opens, but after the festival when you decide it's time to become a writer, you need to go get some spunky new pens and journals to get the creative juices flowing.
Eudora Welty House Museum- Get in the book festival spirit with a tour of Eudora Welty's home. It will make you want to crack open a book and read. The home looks the same way it did when Welty last lived there. The stories of Welty told throughout the tour really give you a sense of the Pulitzer Prize winning, Southern author. And who can resist peaking into a Tudor with a side porch? Not me. You will have to do this Friday since the house only gives tours the 2nd Saturday of each month. The stars did not align for it to be open during the book festival. Wha wha wha. http://www.mdah.ms.gov/welty/visit/
Library Lounge- After your tour at the Welty House, head a few blocks over to the Fairview Inn's Library Lounge. Somehow life slows down as you sip on an Alice Walker (Champagne/St.Germain/Elderberry Liqueur) or a classic Old Fashioned. Take it outside under the giant magnolias hovering over the patio and before you know it, you will be lost in a Southern spell of conversation. Friday has Happy Hour 4-6pm. Hours: Monday – Friday: 11 am – Midnight, Saturday: 4 pm – 1 am
MS Capitol Building- During the Book Festival admission is free and the air conditioning is wonderful. This stately building is full of ornate details. My favorite is finding the hidden items. Try to spot the artist's paint palette while you are there. Hint: it's in the stairway. And wear some good selfie shoes because there are so many photo worthy tile moments if you are into that sort of thing.
The Elite- My first time to eat here was after getting my first speeding ticket on the Natchez Trace in high school and I had to go to court. I committed a Federal Offense. And I cried for like three days. My dad took me on a lunch date afterwards to get enchiladas. And I finally stopped crying about getting a ticket. Founded in 1947 and still run by the same family, you can dine where Eudora once dined. A bit down the way you can see The King Edward Hotel. Pop in and look at the splendor. Then grab dessert at Parlor Market! The Elite Saturday hours: 4:30-9pm
For more information on the panel schedules, visit MS Book Festival. And if you are interested in illustration work, email firstname.lastname@example.org.