About the Festival

The first-ever Missouri Book Festival will celebrate the best of regional life, culture, and history with an array of dynamic programming meant to promote literacy and encourage reading. Events will take place August 25–27 in Washington, the quintessential Missouri town. Here, books that feature stories on the Show-Me State will come to life in food demonstrations, sports exhibitions, myriad forms of performance, and lively author talks and discussions. Missourians of all ages will hear from regional authors while gaining insight into the content they produce and the writing process. Not only will attendees enjoy festivities that truly reflect our state, they’ll also have the opportunity to browse for their next favorite book!

Planned activities include:

  • Soapbox derby and car show celebrating local automotive history
  • Circus performance featuring regional performers
  • Wrestling at the Chase tribute
  • Food demos: sausage-making, baking, beer sampling
  • The Purina Incredible Dog Team
  • Historical scavenger hunt featuring local architecture
  • Irish music and dancing

Programming subject to change.

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Photo courtesy of Jeanne Miller-Wood

Why Washington?

The Best Read Community in America, Washington is a beautiful historic riverfront town with a strong commitment to reading. In 2020, Washington and its nearby neighbors logged more than 1.5 million pages of reading! A long-running youth literacy program supported by dozens of community partners and the nonprofit Community Literacy Foundation has provided more than 20,000 new books to area schools and libraries. Hundreds of children, parents and grandparents gather at the community’s annual Family Reading Night each spring to celebrate the importance of reading together. In the fall, the annual Run to Read offers books to dashers, walkers and runners in exchange for a morning of fitness. Washington is well-known to authors from across the state—and nation. The community’s independent bookstore, Neighborhood Reads, and the Washington Public Library and its Friends organization, both work to introduce authors to readers of all ages throughout the year.

Washington, MO, August 25–27