Children's Art& Literacy Festival begins in downtown Abilene


ABILENE, Texas - The Storybook Capital of Texas is celebrating the fifth annual Children's Art & Literacy Festival this week, transforming downtown Abilene and bringing children's characters to life.

The festival begins with a costume contest at 4 p.m. Thursday before ArtWalk takes place that night. A storybook parade will start at 5:30 p.m., followed by the unveiling of a new dinosaur storybook sculpture at 6 p.m., an artist talk and book signing by award winning illustrator/author Mark Teague at 6:20 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, and a glow dance party at the Abilene Civic Center.

Million Word Readers will kick off the dance at 8 p.m. with costumed characters. The party will go until 10 p.m. All activities Thursday night are free.

An exhibition of Mark Teague's original artwork will go on display at 5 p.m. Thursday night at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature.

Festival activities take place all day Friday and Saturday starting at 9 a.m., including a movie festival, dramatic readings, train rides, magic shows, live music, art activities, art exhibits and more.

Festival passes are required for visitors over the age of three. Passes can be purchased at the T&P Depot, 1101 N. 1st Street, and throughout the CALF. Passes are $10 for kids between three and 12, and $15 for visitors over the age of 13.

Nearly 4,000 people attended the CALF last year. Festival organizers expect similar attendance for this year's festival. The NCCIL will host the exhibition and artist honored by the festival. The Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, a chamber affiliate, hosts the festival.