Grand Park Throws a Book Bash

Indie authors and publishers gather downtown at a reader hobnob.

When the 12-acre Grand Park debuted last summer, its backers, designers, and neighbors had a shared hope for it: That it would be "the park for everyone."

So says a sign at the Civic Center-close green space. But hopes grew, as hopes do, and suddenly interesting and offbeat events began to appear on the park's schedule. It wasn't that people merely wanted a natural expanse for everyone -- they wanted a natural expanse for everyone that would truly be used, enjoyed, and employed as the setting for all sorts of happenings, from small music events to lunchtime yoga sessions to a weekly farmers market every Tuesday.

The Park peeps are thinking even bigger, what with the fine weather due. A full-on lit gather -- called the Downtown BookFest -- is set to take over Grand Park on Saturday, March 2.

The focus? Well, gathering readers and authors and publishers and anybody else who doesn't fit into one of those corners but who likes words on pages. There's an independent vibe to the day, given the fact that nearly five hours of "indie publisher readings" kick off at 1:15 p.m.

Downtown's own The Last Bookstore will host a pop-up shop on the grounds, too.

Readings, food trucks, and a wish circle -- kids gather in a circle and make wishes for themselves and the planet -- are on the itinerary. It's free, as things in Grand Park are apt to be, but more than that, it's "free for all," per the park's site.

That's interesting wording, but telling. Grand Park is really set on becoming the lively and, more importantly, alive green space of downtown. It's doing a fine job, and not even a year into the gig, either.

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