Festival sees continued success

Published 7:22 am Thursday, October 26, 2017

Juanita Giles is enjoying the aftermath of another successful Virginia Children’s Book Festival (VCBF).

“It’s sort of a blur to me to be honest,” said Giles, the organizer of the VCBF.

Approximately 9,000 people came out for the VCBF, which took place Oct. 19-21 and saw new features including programming for special needs children and a majority of events taking place in downtown Farmville on Saturday compared to on the Longwood University campus in previous years. The festival included many sessions where authors of children’s books held a variety of discussions and activities with students.

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“We have such wonderful volunteers and Longwood is such a huge help that any issue that arose was quickly resolved and everybody seemed extraordinarily happy,” Giles said. “I’ve gotten such great feedback from authors and children and parents and teachers were really happy.”

Regarding moving Saturday activities downtown, she said “Longwood is so wonderful but it’s really wearing to have such a large event on campus for a long time and everybody sort of needs a quieter day at the end.”

She said they haven’t had the Saturday events downtown before, but they wanted to bring people into Farmville.

“There’s so much for them to see and do and we get such great support from so many people in the community and they were very excited to participate,” Giles said. “Moving things downtown seemed to work really really well, there were places for people to eat, you know, after they would see their sessions and they got to walk around and see the town.”

She said the location move, “just felt festive and nice.”

Regarding the special needs programing — which saw a quieter environment for special needs children at the Longwood Speech, Hearing and Learning Services center — she said there were several sessions held on Saturday that, from what she had heard, “all went beautifully.”

“The children were happy and engaged and the programming was just right to suit their needs and it couldn’t have gone any better over there,” Giles said.