Romance will sweep into town Sunday when the Ferndale Public Library hosts the Day of Books and Roses festival.
The event from noon to 5 p.m. April 21 will feature readings by Michigan authors and poets, musical performances, children's activities, wine, food and more.
"The Day of Books and Roses celebrates a famous day in Catalonia, Spain, called 'La Diada de Sant Jordi' or Saint George’s Day, a day when Catalans stroll streets filled with booksellers and flower stalls on April 23 to buy a rose, a book, or both to give to loved ones, family members, and friends to commemorate the feast of Saint Jordi, a noble dragon slayer and the region’s patron saint," a library press release says.
The release also includes the following morsels of trivia.
- The tradition of men giving women a rose on April 23 comes from the legend of Saint Jordi, who famously slayed a dragon to save a Catalan princess and gave her a rose that bloomed from the dragon’s blood.
- Women began the tradition of giving books to men in 1926 when Spain declared April 23 as Día del Libro, or Book Day.
- Blended into the Saint Jordi celebration is the International Day of the Book, established in 1995 by the United Nations on April 23 to honor Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, who both died on that date in 1616.
Admission for the Ferndale event is $5; kids 12 and younger will get in free. Proceeds will benefit the library's community programs.
Elie Wine Company of Royal Oak will be on hand with samples and international foods and beverages will be available to taste.
"There will be volunteers from our Friends (of the Ferndale Library) group walking around with baskets of roses for sale," library Director Jessica Keyser said. "It will be cute."
Schedule: Day of Books and Roses
- 1 p.m.: Author Matthew Ball will read Minnie and Melvira
- 1:30 p.m.: Dragon Egg Hunt
- 2-4 p.m.: Face-painting
- 12:30 p.m.: Justin Rogers
- 12:45 p.m.: Ben Alfaro
- 1 p.m.: Norene Cashen
- 1:15 p.m.: Josh Boeringa
- 1:30 p.m.: Donald Levin
- 1:45 p.m.: Sandy Lyons
- 2 p.m.: Jerrold Foke
Musicians / poets
- To be determined: As soon as the last reader is finished a jazz trio will begin to play
- 4:15 p.m.: Poet Chris Tysh
- 4:30 p.m.: Poet George Tysh
Visit the Day of Books and Roses page on Facebook for updates and more information.