National Steinbeck Center
A llama and a pair of Steinbeck fans visit a past Steinbeck Festival. The 2012 party is set for May 3-6.
A FESTIVAL WITH REACH: Any time we see a center or a museum or an organization holding an annual festival to honor an author, well, our heart gladdens a little. We like to see kids making crafty cut-outs based on the author's characters and we like to see professors reading from research papers and we like to sample cookies based on recipes found in a writer's famous opus. But then, every year, we're a little wowed by the Steinbeck Festival, at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. This is an author-minded celebration that goes above and beyond many weekend-long get-togethers, and this year is no exception; the May 3 through 6 party will including a Woody Guthrie tribute, a pony ranch tour, and a salute to the comic book stylings of Salinas teens. Major, right? C'mon, Steinbeck Center. You really do right.
ALSO ON THE SCHEDULE: A panel about Yosemite writings and artworks, The Sounds of Steinbeck's Chinatown (prepare for a lovely aural experience), and a visit to a "Bohemian haunt" on Monterey's Cannery Row. We love that the fest gets outside the museum and also spotlights the locals and their creative efforts. Really, we can't stress enough how busy the schedule is over the three days, so you'll want to peruse it all before making for Salinas. Oh, and Salinas? We do love it so. The center is in the historic bit of the town, so make time for some look-around rambles, too.