The CALF expected to be more hands on than ever

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) – Next Weekend Is The Eighth Annual Children’s Art and Literacy Festival from June 6th to the 8th.

“What makes our festival unique is that other book festivals focus a lot on just the author and in our book festival we focus on the words and the art, and we bring the books to life like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” said Sidney Levesque, Marketing Director, Abilene Cultural Affairs Council.

They are already seeing registrations from 90 cities and 12 states. Last year having more than 5,000 people attend.
    
“We have a lot of additional hands on things this year,” said Levesque.

With 14 venues hosting events, like the NCCIL, they are expecting a big turn out.
    
“All of the strong partnerships that are built through the CALF Festival,” said Trish Dressen, Executive Director, NCCIL

They say all partnerships impacted greatly. The NCCIL receives an increase amount of book sales for their book exhibit, this year being Peter Brown.

“It’s super important for us. It allows us to keep all that programming free so anyone and everyone has access to fine art experiences at no cost,” said Dressen.

They raise about $100,000 to put the festival on and use 300 or more volunteers.

“It has consistently brought in about 100 hotel nights which is about a $60,000 impact. I am sure there is some leakage there. It is very hard to track it because people are choosing what hotel they stay at,” said Kelly Thompson, Communication Director, Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Thursday night is free but you must register to attend the rest of the weekend, it cost $11 for ages 3 to 12 and $16 for ages 13 and up. To find out more information on the festival click here. Also, next weekend is the Texas Slam Tournament, bringing in 2,700 out-of-town guests and $1.3 million and 30th Anniversary Texas High School Rodeo Championship, bringing in 1,500 out-of-town guests with a $1.6 million impact.

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