Twain and classic literary characters roam Old Town!

Mark Twain uses his cane to point out his classic novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Many 19th century authors and fictional characters were seen walking about during TwainFest.
Mark Twain uses cane to point out his classic novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Many 19th century authors and fictional characters were seen walking around during TwainFest.

TwainFest last summer was awesome. So today I had to go again!

A uniquely wonderful cultural event, TwainFest celebrates Mark Twain and other famous 19th century authors. Held every year in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the event includes games and activities for the entire family, including Costume and Liar’s contests (the latter as a tribute to Twain’s tall tales), vintage dancing, and all sorts of historical performances and reenactments. TwainFest is presented by Fiesta de Reyes and created by the literature-loving folks at Write Out Loud.

I walked about randomly for about an hour just aiming my camera at familiar old classics that I love come to life. I saw lots of San Diegans in period costume, many portraying well known characters from literature.

I hope you enjoy these photos…

A random writer helps to pen one of three endless stories at the family friendly event. ...And, lo, from out of the mist stepped a phantom it was the ghost of Mark Twain!
A random writer helps to pen one of three endless stories at the family friendly event. …And, lo, from out of the mist stepped a phantom: it was the ghost of Mark Twain!
Mr. Samuel Clemens, American author of many famous books and stories, relaxes under a tree in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2015 TwainFest.
Mr. Samuel Clemens, American author of many timeless books and stories, relaxes under a tree in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2015 TwainFest.
Mark Twain's beloved character Aunt Polly is looking around for Tom Sawyer and Huck, who are probably running about engaged in mischief once again.
Mark Twain’s beloved character Aunt Polly is looking around for Tom Sawyer and Huck, who are probably running about engaged in mischief once again.
Some lively Irish music dating from the Old West is played during TwainFest on the Fiesta de Reyes stage. Laughter. Levity. Literature.
Some lively Irish music dating from the Old West is played during TwainFest on the Fiesta de Reyes stage. Laughter. Levity. Literature.
A storyteller making the rounds at TwainFest asks the audience between musical performances to solve humorous riddles.
A storyteller making the rounds at TwainFest challenges the audience between musical performances to solve humorous riddles.
This elegantly-dressed gentleman informed me he would be reading classic fiction to the crowd later today.
This elegantly-dressed gentleman informed me he would be reading classic fiction to the crowd later today.
Not to miss this history and literature-inspired event, a couple of fun-loving pirates come shuffling along through Old Town's central plaza.
Not to miss this history and literature-inspired event, a couple of fun-loving pirates come shuffling along through Old Town’s central plaza.
Oh, goodness! It's one of the most famous fictional, rascally pirates of all! Long John Silver! What's that in the bottle
Oh, goodness! It’s one of the most famous fictional, rascally pirates of all! Long John Silver! What’s that in the bottle?
Captain Swordfish, representing the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and a really big harpoon. Perhaps it was once used to hunt Moby Dick.
Al Sorkin, aka Captain Swordfish, represents the Maritime Museum of San Diego. That’s a really big harpoon! Perhaps it was once used to hunt Moby Dick.
These two friendly folks in period costume were greeting visitors at the entrance to the Casa de Estudillo.
Two friendly people in period costume were greeting visitors at the entrance to the Casa de Estudillo.
This funny guy said he was a sort-of Mad Hatter with a Bowie knife! He looked more like a 19th century Willy Wonka to me!
This funny guy said he was a sort-of Mad Hatter with a Bowie knife! He looked more like a 19th century Willy Wonka to me!
Uh oh. While no one was looking Henry David Thoreau got out of his jail cell!
Uh oh. While no one was looking Henry David Thoreau got out of his jail cell! That was awfully disobedient!
These two snake oil salespeople were selling Ether of Muse. One whiff of the potent elixir and writing literature is a snap.
These two snake oil salespeople were selling Ether of Muse. One whiff of the potent elixir and writing literature is a snap.
This mild, ordinary lady in a bonnet demonstrated what happens when one sniffs essence of Emily Dickinson. She recited breathless poetry for minutes on end.
This mild, ordinary lady in a bonnet demonstrated what happens when one sniffs essence of Emily Dickinson. She recited breathless poetry for minutes on end.
Girl greets large puppet Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson at 2015 TwainFest in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park!
Girl greets large puppet Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson at 2015 TwainFest in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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