Book lovers — get out those comfy walking shoes and your sturdiest tote bag — the Payson Book Festival is this Saturday at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

The event, now in its fifth year, is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free and guests have the opportunity to visit and buy books from 90 Arizona authors.

Sponsored by the Rim Country Chapter of Arizona Professional Writers, a non-profit organization and Majestic Rim Retirement Living, the mission of the Payson Book Festival is to enhance the love of reading by providing an environment that encourages personal interaction between readers and authors. Its goal is to promote literacy and showcase Arizona authors.

This year’s theme is “Adventures in Reading. Open a Book to New Worlds.” Activities include: Kid Zone sessions for kids and teens; author presentations; cowboy poetry and songs, and entertainment.

Kids Zone Schedule

• 9:15 a.m., Storytime with Elaine from the Gila County Library District

• 10 a.m., Puppet Show by Payson Community Kids

• 11 a.m., Puppet Show Take 2 by Payson Community Kids

• 11:30 a.m., Storytime with author Michael Hale

• 12:15 p.m., Storytime with author Phoebe Fox

• 1 p.m., Storytime with Emily from the Payson Public Library

• 1:45 p.m., Storytime with Carolyn from First Things First

• 2:30 p.m., Storytime with Emily from the Payson Public Library

In addition to the programs, the Kids Zone will also feature an original story created by students from Payson Community Kids, which will be sold for a minimum donation of $8, and displays of science and art projects by children at the Community Presbyterian Child Learning Center.


Author and entertainment presentations are scheduled in the casino’s Fireside Room, at the far west side of the event venue.

The programs feature:

• 9:15 a.m., Dave Munsey on the weather and TV

• 10:10 a.m., Marshall Trimble on storytelling

• 11:05 a.m., Buckshot Dot with music and tales of the West

• noon, Theresa Snead on Salem witches

• 12:55 p.m., Katie Berta and Angie Dell of the Virginia Piper Center on finding and growing your own literary community

• 1:50 p.m., Nikos Ligidakis on cookbooks

• 2:45 p.m., Richard Draude and Sharon Day on publishing

Additional programs are scheduled in the Maple Room, on the southeast side of the event venue.

Presentations planned:

• 9:30 a.m., Jim West on Phoenix Rockabilly and the country recording scene

• 10:10 a.m., Sherry Engler on the adventures of being a wife and mother of law enforcement officers

• 10:50 a.m., Elizabeth Mosaidis on the top three tips for stepfamily success

• 11:30 a.m., Barbara Lacy on Navajo use of plants

• 12:10 p.m., Bob Boze Bell, John Langellier and Stuart Rosebrook in a panel on True West Magazine

• 1:30 p.m., Jan Martin, “4 Secrets of a youthful appearance without relinquishing your Firstborn Child”

• 2:10 p.m., John Jay Pelletier, “Desert Safety and Survival – Have a Plan”

• 2:50 p.m., Howard Gershkowitz, “The Operator – The writing of an historical fiction novel”

For more information,

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