Great Talkeetna Book Festival: Celebrating Banned Books

Book lovers of all ages are invited to attend the first annual Great Talkeetna Festival of Books. The festival will be held at various locations throughout downtown Talkeetna on the 8th of October and this year’s theme is Banned Books, though all books will be celebrated!

We’ll kick our festival off on October 7th with Peggy Shumaker, Alaska Writer’s Laureate, who will host a workshop with the Talkeetna Elementary 3rd to 6th grade students. That evening the Denali Arts Council will hold a “meet and greet” for Peggy with Q&A and book signings.

On the 8th, the main festival will be set up at the Northern Susitna Institute building off of the Talkeetna Spur Road. There will be authors signing their books, Book Trivia, a free kids library provided by Tales Told Twice, arts and crafts, Book Art, a bake sale, commercial vendors, and more book related fun. There will be a banned book scavenger hunt through town, and people are asked to dress as their favorite book character. Local businesses will be taking part with specials and guests and events in their businesses. Denali Drama, our local acting troupe, will be performing “Book Drama” throughout the day, and many local musicians will also provide entertainment.

The Talkeetna Library we will be holding a week-long book fair and will host a “Tea and Tales” for kids. There will be an author signings there as well.

Also that day at the Denali Arts Hangar, there will be an art opening by Kristin Link who illustrates science books.That evening Hangar Door Cinema will host their annual Banned Book Movie; this year we are showing Fahrenheit 451.

All in all this will be a fun day of celebrating books: actual physical books – no e-books allowed at this event – we are lovers of physical print! In this day and age of electronic entertainment and information, the future of print books is uncertain. Book stores and libraries are closing all over the country. We don’t believe anything can ever replace the glory and wonder found within an actual bound book.

Whether that book should be accompanied by a cup of good loose-leaf tea or a strong locally-roasted coffee is still a matter of much-heated debate.

The Great Talkeetna Festival of Books is the brainchild of the BGA – a group of Talkeetna residents who have given in to their obsession and geekery around all things literary. The BGA is not officially affiliated with anyone. We’re just book geeks.

Proceeds will be donated to the Friends of the Talkeetna Library. For more information or to get involved send e-mails to or, or check out

Hope to see you here!