The inaugural Missouri Book Festival begins August 26.

This article is presented in partnership with Reedy Press.

The first-ever Missouri Book Festival will celebrate the best of regional life, culture, and history with an array of dynamic programming meant to promote literacy and encourage reading. 

The Festival kicks off on Friday, August 26 with keynote event “Fall and Rise,” featuring guest speaker Rick Ankiel accompanied by “Missouri Guy” author John W. Brown and other VIP guests. On stage at Washington High School Theater, Rick will discuss the highs and lows of a truly incomparable baseball career. Captured in his memoir The Phenomenon, Rick’s story of perseverance inspired baseball fans around the world—and it all happened right here in the Show-Me State! 

The main event takes place on Saturday, August 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Downtown Washington, the quintessential Missouri town. Here, books that feature stories on the Show-Me State will come to life in food demonstrations, sports exhibitions, myriad forms of performance, and lively author talks and discussions.

Featured programming and activities include:

  • Author storytimes
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Panel discussions
  • Soapbox derby
  • Car show
  • Circus performance
  • Live wrestling
  • Writing and illustrating workshops
  • The Purina Incredible Dog Team
  • Food demos
  • Live music
  • Vendor fair

A literary event like no other, the Missouri Book Festival will spark passion for reading while inspiring future generations of Missourians to become lifelong learners. The Missouri Book Festival is hosted by Reedy Press, Missouri Humanities, and the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book and sponsored by Washington Public Library, Neighborhood Reads, Scenic Regional Library, Friends of Washington Public Library, the Missourian, and Missouri Life magazine.