Hey y’all!!

It happened again!! Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who came out to read and play and join in the party this year to make our second Book Fiesta happen!

Y’all are amazing.

We read books, made airplanes, planted flowers, built houses (and mazes and forts), painted butterflies, and saw our neighbors playing together all over East Lake Park! We were visted by the Bookmark Fairy, Creative Discovery Museum, sculptor Maria Willison, and East Lake artist Tim Goldsmith! And after all the evening rain, we were filled with gratitude for all the new friends we met, all the help that came pouring in, and the loads of books that seemed to keep multiplying before our eyes! (But seriously, hundreds of books donated by Kelsey Hughes, HomeBound Books, The Book Company, Read20, McKays, Hamilton County Teacher Depot and various anonymous donors throughout Chattanooga were given new homes to eager East Lake children developing a culture of learning.) And a special thanks to everyone who helped make this year happen through donations and support: ThreeTwelve Creative, Office Furniture Warehouse, GreenSpaces, Family Resource Center (HCDE), Chattanooga Strong, Chattanooga Football Club, Target, EPB, Edler’s Ace, Coca-Cola, staff from East Lake Elementary, and especially our parents! And for the above video, shot & edited by Pablo Mazariegos, Director of Family Resource Center Westside, at Hamilton County Department of Education, who provided marketing, support, books & art supplies! To everyone who helped with all the details coming together, thank you.

The 2017 East Lake Book Fiesta was a literacy event celebrating Children’s Day/World Book Day, and is based on the picture book, ‘Book Fiesta’ written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Rafael Lopez. We pick out some of our favorite books primarily in English and Spanish to serve as opportunities to build community and intercultural understanding, and we bring these books to life through dramatic readings, larger than life artworks and installations, with hands-on activities that help children see themselves not only as partakers of the stories being told, but makers of the stories still being written.

East Lake Park is the heart of the East Lake community and the perfect place for the East Lake community to come together. ELLAchattanooga works in partnership with Green|Spaces, East Lake Neighborhood Association, East Lake Community PTA, and East Lake Expression Engine — who all came together to encourage our East Lake neighbors to play and express their creativity.

Oh, and those sweet lights? Those are made by artist Jen Lewin, and she calls them “The Pool.” Those magical, colorful circles were giant glowing buttons that change colors when you jump on them! Green|Spaces worked with sponsors all over the city to bring those to Chattanooga, and we were stoked to have them in East Lake!

So I think it’s safe to say, Book Fiesta 2017 was incredible. Our hearts are full to bursting. Thank you all!