It’s bee-ginning to look a lot like the Books and Bees Festival on April 1 and 2.
By Gretchin Hardin, Photos by Mary Lyons
It’s bee-ginning to look a lot like the Books and Bees Festival on April 1 and 2. Out west in Bee Cave, this festival is the second annual springtime celebration of literacy and nature. Taking place on the Hill Country Galleria’s central lawn, there will be a multitude of authors, bee educators, local businesses, live music, literary characters and more. The weekend is full of everything that makes Bee Cave shine.
Day One kicks off with a pre-festival event for the library’s littlest patrons at Bee’s Birthday Bash. Starting at 11 a.m., Kim Lehman will showcase songs and stories for kids under 8 with a special appearance by the library story time mascot, Bee. Kids can make bee-themed crafts, pick up free wildflower seeds and learn a thing or two about Bee Cave’s favorite pollinators from Bees For All Founder Peter Keilty.
Author events begin at 12:30 p.m., with a special book debut from Buzzy the Bee, the City of Bee Cave’s official mascot. The first 25 participants registered and who show up to the festival will get a limited-edition Buzzy plushy and a copy of Buzzy’s first book, which introduces kids and adults to all the wonderful sites and stories of Bee Cave. Buzzy the Bee, Winnie the Pooh and Mirabel from Encanto will visit throughout the day for photo opportunities.
Saturday Afternoon Author Readings
Saturday afternoon is full of author readings in the tents for adults, tweens, teens and children. The children’s tent includes stories with Melissa Coffey, Nicholas Solis and Kristin Wauson. Kids of all ages will love the interactive illustrator panel with Wauson and Laura Fisk. Stick around for The Singing Zoologist, Lucas Miller, who will take the floor at 3:30 p.m. Older kids may want to head to the Tween Tent to hear from graphic novel rock stars Kazu and Amy Kim Kibuishi. Middle-grade writers Cathy O’Neill, Jacquetta Nammar Feldman and Evan Griffith will talk to tweens about the art of storytelling.
Grown-ups have a chance to hear from some of their favorite novelists as well. They can buzz over to the Keyston Keynote Tent to enjoy humor, memoir, thrillers, and romance panels. Wendi Aarons heads up the humor panel with her friends Dina Gachman, Alex Baia, and Erica Lies. Bestselling authors Jeff Abbott and Meg Gardiner will delve into the world of thriller writing. Then Kayla Olson and Alyssa Morris will talk all things romance. Teen and adult fans of fantasy and romance will want to stop by Barnes & Noble at 2 p.m. for a magical panel with Abigail Owen and Heather Walter. The education tent will host learning opportunities about native plant gardening with Haeley Giambalvo and business wisdom from Kurt Wilkin.
Festival attendees can visit sponsor tents for a refreshing drink or fun swag. The Friends of Bee Cave Public Library will sell merchandise to raise funds for future Books and Bees Festivals. They will also hand out bee headbands for kids to wear. One highlight of the festival is the Barnes & Noble Tent. Book lovers can immediately buy the books featured at the festival and get them signed and personalized by the authors following their events.
Day Two brings a homegrown twist to the festival! Happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the City of Bee Cave, in collaboration with the Bee Cave Chamber of Commerce, will host the first HoneyFest, which happens alongside the Lone Star Farmers Market. Local businesses and beekeepers will have the chance to share their wares with the community. A honey tasting festival will be sweeter than you can imagine. Local authors of small press and self-published books will also be set up to sell their books and talk to attendees about their process.
Come out to Bee Cave during the first weekend of April for the Books and Bees Festival. This event is totally unique to the Hill Country, and the whole city is buzzing with excitement over it.
Register for the Books and Bees Festival for free on EventBrite.
Gretchen Hardin is the public services manager for Bee Cave Public Library. You can find her food and book adventures on Instagram at eatingreading.