150,000 Expected at LA Book Festival - NBC Southern California

150,000 Expected at LA Book Festival

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books begins Saturday at USC



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    The 17th annual Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books will draw readers and writers to USC, where officials also plan higher policing levels. Here, attendees at a panel in April 2012.

    The two-day, 18th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books begins Saturday at USC, with more than 400 award-winning and celebrity authors and chefs discussing their books at what is billed as North America's largest public literary event.

    More than 150,000 people are expected for the festival, which also includes family oriented entertainment, cooking demonstrations, musical performances, English, Spanish and bilingual programming, poetry readings and panel discussions on topics including marijuana, religion and sexuality, gun control and the politics of food.

    Authors scheduled to appear today include Molly Ringwald (12:10 p.m.), Julia Sweeney (1:20 p.m.), Debbie Reynolds (2:30 p.m.), Danica McKellar (3:40 p.m.) and Paul Anka (4:50 p.m.) Sunday's scheduled speakers include actress Nia Vardalos (11 a.m.) and Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey, who produced the recent History miniseries "The Bible'' (12:10 p.m.).

    The festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

    Parking is $10 at lots and structures on and adjacent to the campus. Metro has added service to its Expo Line, which has two stations adjacent to USC. Expo Line trains will operate every six minutes, instead of the usual 12 to 15 minute weekend schedule.

    People taking Metro to the festival will receive a 10 percent discount on merchandise, including mugs and T-shirts. Multiple shuttle buses will run in a continuous loop between Union Station and USC beginning at 9 a.m. with service continuing until one hour after the festival closes both today and Sunday. DASH F line service service to USC will run every 20 minutes from all stops.

    More information is available online at latimesfestivalofbooks.com and twitter.com/latimesfob .