Saturday we met with friend Brian for a late breakfast, and went back to Deep Carnivale. I noticed from the guest sign-in at the gallery that C. Emerson owner Lori was there, though we unfortunately didn't see her. In the lobby, there were tables set up, with racks full of dresses, jackets and other outfits, feathered boas and hats, and clusters of children thrilled to be playing dress-up, and parents posing alongside them, beaming.
In a large room a little further down the hall, volunteers from several groups, including the women from the Dali Museum, kept scores of kids laughing, doing crafts, and entertaining them. Onstage, various poets read poetry specifically for kids over the music of their laughter.
Greeting people coming in through the main entrance was none other than Ferdie Pacheco, Doctor, screenwriter, novelist, painter, cultural treasure, and Master Raconteur. He was there to sign books, but what a consummate pleasure and rare opportunity it was to be able to sit at arm's length from this renaissance man and listen to him tell Ybor stories.
At the Main Stage there were John Guzzo and Paul Fisher talking and showing their historical Graphic Novel, Blood is Thicker, and the real-life issues of bringing it to the public. Hopefully, they will consider Blurb-type print-on-demand books for their novel in the future.
The HCC Dancers performed The Birth of Astro Boy, by Tom Mc Gowan.
James Tokley Sr, Tampa Poet Laureate, read from his riveting story, "Purl". Poetry and prose are wonderful, but having the chance of hearing them read by their authors, live, squares the circle and is one of the many things this festival brings to the community, and on Saturday, it was all for free.
Sadly, Art Taco had to leave early in order to make several gallery openings that evening...