Steamboat Springs Delaney Ziegman had a good reason to dress herself and her dog, Fizzgig, up in matching bumblebee costumes.
And it wasn’t just because she wanted to win the Doggy Beauty Pageant on Saturday outside Bud Werner Memorial Library. It was because the Beast Walk and Doggy Beauty Pageant event was a fundraiser and kickoff to an event she’s really looking forward to in September.
Book Feast is a new children’s author festival set for September that will bring some well-known writers and illustrators to Steamboat for Delaney to meet and learn from.
“I just really like meeting writers because I strive to be a writer,” said Delaney, who will enter sixth grade in September. “I’m excited to meet Brandon Mull. I wasn’t really into his book, but he was really good at the descriptions.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Literary Sojourn, but I can’t. I’m really excited to meet all the authors.”
A joint effort between the Steamboat Springs School District, the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and the library, Book Feast will take place Sept. 8 at the library and the Depot Art Center.
There will be appearances from Avi, Ingrid Law, Brandon Mull, Janet Stevens and Caroline Stutson, each of whom will offer presentations and workshops on their work, which many local students have been introduced to in the classroom.
The cost will be $7 for presentations and activities and another $10 for special writing and illustrating workshops with the authors.
Sarah Kostin, the library’s youth services librarian, said the festival will cost about $10,000 to put on, and the four entities are helping raise the funds to host Book Feast.
The object, she said, is to provide the rare opportunity to connect an author’s name with a face and personality, enlivening the experience of reading.
“We want to inspire kids to be writers and readers and to think that reading is fun and not just something you do in school,” Kostin said.
Sherry Holland, Strawberry Park Elementary School librarian, is helping to organize the event by representing the school district.
On Saturday at the fundraiser, she wore a striped Dr. Seuss hat that matched Kostin’s as she helped dogs through the colorful agility course next to the beauty pageant stage.
“There’s something that happens when you meet an author,” Holland said. “Something changes in your general sense of purpose and understanding of where these stories came from.”
She said there are children’s author festivals in big cities across the world but few opportunities in Colorado. She said the event is open to anyone from across the state.
“We’re starting a new tradition for Steamboat,” she said.
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com