For the fourth year in a row, TwainFest will come to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park this summer. TwainFest is a free family-friendly festival celebrating the writing of Mark Twain and his contemporaries and will take place on Sat., Aug. 17. The fun starts 11 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m.
“This year’s TwainFest will be the best one yet,” stated Write Out Loud Co-Founder Walter Ritter. “We have added new activities and we are premiering a new 12-foot tall puppet of Emily Dickinson.”
TwainFest presents professional actors and musicians performing throughout the day, puppets, inventive games and interactive educational activities. Performances and activities will be offered on state park’s grassy plaza as well as in its historic structures.
This year’s activities include:
The Arcade – Many imaginative games and activities ranging from Fish for Words, geared to children as young as three, to the Spelling Bee, which features commonplace words from the 1850s and the Never-Ending Story where everyone adds their own chapter to an ongoing story.
Book Emporium – Guests of the event will get the chance to choose a book at the Book Emporium, which will feature books for all ages free of charge. Donations will be accepted.
School Teacher in Mason Street Schoolhouse — New this year, the teacher in the historic Mason Street Schoolhouse will give lessons that students would have learned in the mid-1800s. Special guests will include poets of the time period. Outside the schoolhouse, attendees will have the chance play croquet and visit with the characters of Alice and Wonderland.
Garden Party – Enjoy performances and readings in the Casa de Estudillo with complimentary cookies, tea and lemonade.
Frog Launch – TwainFest tips its hat to Twain’s first widely read story, The Celebrating Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Frog Launch is a catapult that propels bean-bag frogs into the air.
Liars Contest – Tell your story (as long as it’s a tall one) and compete for the TwainFest Liars Crown on the TwainFest Main Stage.
Twain for Kids – Professional actors read stories by and about Mark Twain – one of them even written by his daughter, Suzy – in the historic Seeley Stable.
Wheel of Fiction – Modeled after the popular game show “Wheel of Fortune,” contestants will compete against each other to answer literary questions and win prizes.
TwainFest is produced by Write Out Loud, Fiesta De Reyes and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park with additional partners: Cygnet Theatre, Lamb’s Players Theatre, Old Town Gift Company, Playwrights Project, The Heller Foundation at Union Bank, The Samuel I. & John Henry Fox Foundation and The Arthur & Jeanette Pratt Memorial Fund and the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.
For more information, call 619-297-8953 or visit http://writeoutloudsd.com/schedule/twainfest/.