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Booktown opens 2024 chapter

The 2024 Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival may still be two months away, but the programme for the event – running from May 10-12 – is being launched tomorrow alongside the start of the International Organisation of Booktowns Global Conference [IOBGC], which the trust is hosting from today until March 18.

Although the IOBGC is mainly focused on events for the visiting international delegates and local booksellers, there are also two events that are open to the public.

Booktown operations manager Mary Biggs said it is exciting to have overseas delegates from comparative organisations visit, and the conference will be good exposure for Featherston.

“People travel overseas for lots of reasons, such as exploring architecture and cuisine, but here, it’s literature that people are travelling for, which is really cool,” Biggs said.

“It’s a way of showcasing South Wairarapa to our international audiences.

“All of the overseas members have databases, and when they get home, they can share this experience, which will be good for Featherston.”

The first of the public events is the conference’s keynote speech tomorrow [Friday, March 15] at Featherston’s Anzac Hall from 9.30am to 11.15am, during which Darryl David will share his experience of running a Booktown organisation in South Africa.

Later, from 6.30pm-9.30pm, this year’s festival programme will be launched at the same venue.

“People should come to the festival launch because we will be unveiling the details of the Karukatea festival,” Biggs said.

“Also, at this time, we will be launching the website for 2024, and tickets will be available at 9pm on Eventfinda for the festival in May.”

The visting international representatives will enjoy a welcome barbecue today, a powhiri and tour of booksellers on Saturday [there are 13 bookshops in the region, nine of them in South Wairarapa], a winery tour and stargazing on Sunday, with the actual conference taking place on Monday.

The IOBGC is held every two years at different locations around the world to discuss the running of Booktowns globally, and how literature can bring people together.

Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie is a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age; originally moving from Christchurch, he is interested in housing stories as well as covering emergencies and crime.

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