Books in Bloom settles in on the Lakefront

Kate Magill
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

Get ready to read: Columbia’s second annual Books in Bloom festival is back.

The June 10 festival on Columbia’s lakefront is meant to celebrate reading for all ages, the beauty of the lakefront and Columbia’s core tenants of progressiveness and inclusion, said Phillip Dodge, executive director of the Downtown Columbia Partnership, the marketing and promotion organization.

Last year, the free festival was held in Symphony Woods at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Dodge said he’s excited to bring the festival to the lakefront, with one of the author stages located on the lake’s docks.

“Downtown Columbia has lots of really cool locations for festivals, so we thought this year we’d make it a little more accessible,” Dodge said.

With over a dozen authors set to attend, Dodge said he hopes to see the festival grow from 2,000 attendees in 2017 to at least 2,500 this year.

Headliners for the festival will include former White House photographer and author of “Chasing Light” Amanda Lucidon and Edwidge Danticat, a National Book Award finalist and author of “Breath.”

The festival will feature author talks, book signings and panel discussions, as well as a dedicated kids’ space with crafts and story time. Politics and Prose, a D.C.-based bookstore, will also be back with a pop-up bookshop.

A bigger focus this year will be on another crowd favorite — drinks. For wine fans, there will be a “rosé garden.” Clyde’s Restaurant Group will also offer wine and beer on the pavilion. There will be a coffee shop, too.

“Howard County is a community that loves to learn, they love discovery. It’s a chance to hear from a favorite author, enjoy a day in the outdoors and try something new,” Dodge said. “It’d be crazy not to go.”

Books in Bloom will take place, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Columbia Lakefront, 10221 Wincopin Circle.The festival is free. For more information and to register, go to

Books in Bloom

The schedule for readings and panel discussions includes:

Tent #1

11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.: Sujata Massey, author

12:15-1 p.m.: From Casting Votes to Winning Votes: A History from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Hillary Clinton,” a panel featuring Jennifer Palmieri and Winifred Conkling

1:15-2 p.m.: Ian Mackenzie, author

2:15-3 p.m.: Nathan Bromey, author

3:15-4 p.m.: Vikram Sunderam, author

Tent #2

11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.: Katia D. Ulysse, author

12:15-1 p.m.: Elliot Ackerman, author

1:15-2 p.m.: Jeannie Valasco, author

2:15-3 p.m.: “Design for Dissent: Graphic Design and its Power for Social Change” panel featuring Oliver Munday and Bonnie Siegler

3:15-4 p.m.: Jane Delury, author

Headliners Tent

1-2 p.m.: Edwidge Danticat, author

3-4 p.m.: Amanda Lucidon, author

Children’s Authors Tent

11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.: Leah Henderson

12:15-1 p.m.: Markette Sheppard

1:15-2 p.m.: Elissa Brent Weissman

2:15-3 p.m.: Laura Melmed

3:15-4 p.m.: Erin Danielle Russell

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