(HawaiiNewsNow) - Whether you prefer to sit back and enjoy the ongoing entertainment on the Main Stage or Keiki Stage, browse the bookseller booths for new titles, or listen in on stimulating panel discussions and presentations, there will be no lack of things to do for book, music and story lovers of all genres at the Bank of Hawaii Presents Hawaii Book & Music Festival, 2012 edition, on Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
Taking place on the spacious, tree-shaded grounds of the Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds at Honolulu Hale, this family-friendly festival promises to be another best-seller event with more than 500 presenters in 150 events. Best of all, admission is FREE and there is plenty of FREE parking in several nearby locations.
The festival beneficiaries are Hawaii Literacy and Read To Me International. For additional information, including a copy of this year's program guide, visit the festival website.
Here's a sneak preview of what's new, who's hot and back by popular demand at this year's celebration of story and song:
NEW FOR 2012
· The Hawaii Council for the Humanities Pavilion presents 14 panel discussions on the "Aural History of Hawaii," how all kinds of music, from himeni to Hawaiian Renaissance, Steel Guitar to Rock 'n' Roll, have shaped our Islands' culture. (Saturday & Sunday, Humanities Pavilion).
· Hawaii Public Radio sponsors a live taping of its popular "Aloha Shorts" program, paying tribute to the work of Lee Cataluna. Lee herself will read one of her selections. (11:15 a.m. on Sunday, Mission Memorial Auditorium)
· Singer-Songwriter Showcase: 5 New Songs of Honolulu. HBMF, in partnership with the Kaua'i Music Festival, present the first of a new Songwriter Showcase series with five outstanding Hawaiian singer/songwriters, led by Kenneth Makuakane, and will perform it live. (Sunday, noon, Main Stage)
· OHA Alana (Awakening) Pavilion's Hawaiian Culture Program features 14 leading-edge panels and presentations focused on new books, and addressing questions now facing the Hawaiian community: What is changing in Hawaiian culture? How is it evolving? What are the ways Hawaiian culture is addressing the future? Who is leading the way? (Saturday & Sunday, OHA Alana Pavilion)
The program also includes Main Stage performances both days by major kumu and halau, including the 3-generation family trio of Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele, Kekuhi Kanahele and Kaumaka'iwa Kanaka'ole.
· BookCrossing Zone: A small but active group of BookCrossers in Hawaii will have a pop-up OBCZ (Official Bookcrossing Zone) at Skygate on Saturday, May 5, where they plan to "release" over 500 books this year. Each book is labeled with a unique tracking number, and folks can log onto a website and add their own journal entries as the book gets passed along to readers around the world.
National and local authors present their latest work (and are available for book-signings at Barnes & Noble or their local publisher). Check the festival website for a complete listing and schedule.
· Maxine Hong Kingston, winner of the National Book Award and the National Humanities Medal, with her new memoir, I LIKE A BROAD MARGIN TO MY LIFE. She will also take part in celebrating two other new books, HELLO, HOUSE by poet Phyllis Hoge, and James D. Houston's posthumous novel about Queen Lili'uokalani, A QUEEN'S JOURNEY.
· Queen Lili'uokalani is the subject of a major new biography by Wall Street Journal writer Julia Flynn Siler. Introduced by Puakea Nogelmeier, she will read, talk story and have music from THE ROYAL SONGBOOK played by Ka'ala Carmack.
· New York Times writer Janny Scott discusses A SINGULAR WOMAN, her biography of Ann Dunham, President Barack Obama's mother. She will be introduced by veteran Hawaii journalist Denby Fawcett, with special guest Maya Soetoro-Ng, author and the President's sister.
· Kaui Hart Hemmings and Jeff Peterson will talk story about her novel and play his music from the Academy-Award winning film, THE DESCENDANTS.
· Hilarious Lee Tonouchi will read from his touching pidgin memoir, SIGNIFICANT MOMENTS IN DA LIFE OF ORIENTAL FADDAH AND SON.
· Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl will read from her latest mystery, MURDER LEAVES ITS MARK.
· Jack Scaff, Jr., MD, the founder of the Honolulu Marathon, will talk about his accumulated running wisdom in YOUR FIRST MARATHON-The LAST WORD IN LONG-DISTANCE RUNNING.
· The posthumous memoir of the late Federal Judge Samuel Pailthorpe King, one of seminal figures of modern Hawaii, will be presented and discussed by writer Jerry Burris, longtime colleague Randall Roth, and daughter Louise King Lanzilotti.
· National award-winning author Rebecca Cantrell is back with A GAME OF LIES, the third book in her Nazi-era mystery series about crime reporter Hannah Vogel. She has a fourth book on the way, A CITY OF BROKEN GLASS.
· For the younger set, nationally published author/poet Sue Cowing (now a Hawaii resident), shares her first children's novel, YOU WILL CALL ME DROG, a coming-of-age story about a boy whose life is turned upside down when a snarky, unpredictable, talking hand puppet named Drog becomes stuck on his hand.
Favorite festival activities and features for young and old alike:
· Keiki Stage and Keiki Activities Pavilion with nonstop entertainment, musicals, celebrity book readings, children's authors and illustrators and free activities, plus a playground of jumpers for the keiki (nominal charge for jumpers and rides).
· PBS KIDS - PBS KIDS National Host Mr. Steve (Parent's Choice Gold Award-winning music sensation) will be on hand to meet and greet the keiki in the Bank of Hawaii Activities Pavilion, which also features 6 favorite PBS KIDS and other famous costumed characters. Young festival-goers can meet them close-up and pose for photos with The Cat in the Hat, Curious George, Lyle Crocodile, Peter Rabbit, Stellaluna, Mouse, and Wild Thing. Mr. Steve also will perform at least three times each day on the Keiki Stage.
· Bank of Hawaii Book Swap: Update your library by bringing in up to five gently used books and trading them in for a new one. Titles for adults and children.
· Bookstores Barnes & Noble, Native Books and Revolution Books, along with various Hawaii publishing companies, featuring author singings, new and discounted books.
· Hawaii Book Publishers Association display all the 2012 Ka Palapala Po'okela Award Nominees.
· HBMF's coffee bar and multi-ethnic food court keeps festival-goers fueled for two stimulating days of story and song.