Giant puppets representing Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe roam Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2019 TwainFest!
Today I enjoyed one of my very favorite San Diego events. I headed to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park for a celebration of great writing and reading at 2019 TwainFest!
Literature is the focus of this annual festival–the most famous 19th century literature and writers in particular. Produced by
Write Out Loud, TwainFest features live readings, performances, period music and costumes, games, and a variety of fun activities for the entire family.
Kids not only develop an appreciation for classic books, but they experience the joy of creativity!
Here comes a tall Mark Twain puppet walking through Old Town San Diego!
A noon parade circles the Old Town plaza during 2019 TwainFest, where great writers and reading are celebrated!
Many characters in 19th century period costume could be spotted at the annual event.
Musical entertainment on the main stage. Fiesta de Reyes presents TwainFest by Write Out Loud. Laughter, Levity and Literature.
This salty Captain Swordfish might have been an acquaintance of Moby Dick author Herman Melville. He has been joined by Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen.
I met poet Walt Whitman, who told me this is his first time at TwainFest.
One of many fun games at TwainFest. Spinning the Wheel of Fiction, in order to solve a literary clue.
Characters and scenes from Mark Twain’s stories could be colored, like The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
Anyone could walk up, grab a marker, and help write several Never Ending Stories.
A performance of a magical folk tale in the Japanese Kamishibai tradition.
Lively music from 19th century San Diego adds life to the cultural event.
Some fun musical accompaniment nearby.
Kids were learning how to play drums and the fife.
The young and the young at heart could play Victorian era games on the grass, including wheelbarrow races, sack races, egg races and the game of graces.
A crazy wheelbarrow race is underway. It’s hard not to fall out when your driver abruptly turns!
Visitors to TwainFest could learn how to make simple books by folding paper and applying fancy cover designs with a glue stick.
Of course, a literature themed event must include lots of classic books.
Shelves full of books!
Some history reenactors had set up a Civil War era field encampment.
Union soldiers in uniform appear at attention.
The nearby Headquarters Post Office contained more costumed participants.
A working telegraph was on display.
While walking about, I noticed many smiling people handing out TwainFest programs. (I’m sure Write Out Loud always welcomes new volunteers.)
Stories were being told at the Casa de Estudillo about immigrants, the descendants of early California, and the road to women’s suffrage.
At the Old Town Courthouse Museum, people could take a literacy test to see whether they could vote in the election of 1872.
Political illustrations and cartoons from print over a century ago.
Young people were enjoying a Mad Hatter tea party, with Alice and other Wonderland characters!
It appeared that some people had already painted Tom Sawyer’s fence with whitewash!
Is that the Red Queen or the Queen of Hearts? I get them confused.
Don’t be an idiom. (You probably don’t want to be an oxymoron either.)
More dramatic words were being read inside Old Town’s one room Mason Street Schoolhouse. I recognized those funny wart-cure passages from Tom Sawyer.
A puppet show delights kids in Old Town’s plaza.
The smiles and good times live on and on during TwainFest…
…thanks in part to this amiable if somewhat satirical fellow.
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