The Examiner

Chappaqua to Host Children’s Book Festival, Bake Sale on Saturday

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There will be something to read on Saturday for almost any child at the Chappaqua Children's Book Festival at Robert E. Bell Middle School. The Great Chappaqua Bake Sale will also be operating at the site.
There will be something to read on Saturday for almost any child at the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival at Robert E. Bell Middle School. The Great Chappaqua Bake Sale will also be operating at the site.

Promoting literacy and a love of reading in children should be filled with excitement and great anticipation.

That’s what the organizers of the inaugural Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival in Chappaqua believe they have created.

This Saturday marks the start of what a grassroots group of community volunteers hope will be a smashing success and a longstanding tradition. The festival, which will feature close to 70 children’s authors and illustrators, including many from Westchester and several from Chappaqua, will be held on the Robert E. Bell Middle School fields from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In case there is inclement weather, the event will be moved inside the school.

Dawn Greenburg, one of the event’s chief organizers, said with so many of the authors and artists living locally, the festival’s emphasis on making reading fun and a central location with easy access to Metro-North trains and the Saw Mill Parkway, Chappaqua was the perfect community to host the festival.

“The Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival is a celebration of children, families, community and literacy,” said Dawn Greenburg, a Chappaqua resident and merchant.

The festival will offer children of any age a range of books to choose from, she said.

Community members got the idea to launch the festival after the popular and well-attended Book Day at Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s home, was discontinued last year, Greenburg said.

Visitors on Saturday will also be able to meet and talk to some of their favorite children’s authors and have their books signed by them. The festival will be dedicated to Jean Craighead George, a Chappaqua resident and author who died last year. Many of George’s books will be displayed.

“It is important for us to honor such a prolific and important Chappaqua writer for our first children’s book festival,” said Greenburg.

Joining forces with the festival will be the Great Chappaqua Bake Sale. The bake sale, which started three years ago and has also been held the first Saturday in October, raises money for Share Our Strength, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger.

Allison Spiegel, one of the parent organizers of the bake sale, said they had previously operated on South Greeley Avenue. The book festival invited the bake sale into its event as the sole dessert proprietor.

In its short time, the sale has raised about $30,000 for Share Our Strength. Spiegel believes this will be the biggest year yet with anticipated crowds of 3,000 to as many as 5,000 visitors.

Since large crowds are expected, its volunteer bakers have been extra busy, Spiegel said.

“We have about 70 families who are baking and we have dozens of merchants, bakeries and food stores who are donating goods,” Spiegel said.

A treat this year will be “Pinkalicious” series author Victoria Kann who will be reading from her new book “Emeraldicious” between 1 and 2 p.m. at the bake sale tent. Kann will help the first 100 children who arrive at the tent during during that hour to create their own “pinkalicious” cupcake. As part of the fundraising drive, pink cupcakes will also be sold.

In addition, dozens of local businesses have donated a wide range of raffle prizes, with all proceeds going to Share Our Strength, Spiegel said.

Greenburg said with the likelihood of a large turnout, including visitors who may be travelling from lower Westchester and New York City, people should use Metro-North if possible. The station is within easy walking distance of the school.

Admission to the festival is free. For more information, visit For additional info on the Great Chappaqua Bake

Sale, visit .





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