This is a new (2nd year) festival, free, and essentially 2 days long. It's not very big, though they do get some fairly well-know authors some of whom aren't even local. <g> But I have pretty restricted reading tastes (SF, romance, a little mystery, and widely scattered nonfiction) and have a huge TBR pile of books by authors I know I like, or ones recommended by someone that sounded like my sort of thing. I don't mind stumbling across an interesting new-to-me author, but I'm not actively looking.
DBF is trying to cover it all, so there are the academic presses, literary magazines and books, general fiction, and children's books, along with some genre stuff. (SF will never be much of a focus as long as DBF coincides with DragonCon.) Throw in the miscellaneous self-published authors, the political protesters (all anti-Bush and/or anti-war, here in this little liberal bastion of conservative Georgia), and the only-marginally related stuff like colleges and universities, a few crafts, etc., and my personal signal-to-noise ratio is rather high.
What does interest me are the cooking demos by authors, held in the class area of Cook's Warehouse. This year I also volunteered to help man a booth for PaperBackSwap, handing out flyers and answering questions about how PBS works. I've been a member of PBS for a year or so, and love the concept--I'm glad to help spread the word. Oh, and if anyone wants to join and give me as a referral, I'm "NancyB"...
My day worked out like this:
10:00 cooking demo by Rebecca Lang (mac-and-cheese, plus a taste comparison of Cracker Barrel cheddar vs. an aged cheddar)
10:30 wander around the exhibits, grab a light lunch
11:45 arrive at the PBS booth, learn the drill, and start proselytizing. Chatted with several acquaintances from my Jazzercize classes and a former supervisor (now retired) who stopped at the booth. Lots of people seem interested in the whole PBS concept...a number of them the spouses of those with an (over-)supply of paperbacks.
3:00 gratefully end my shift, and retire to find somewhere to a) get out of the sun and heat (85 degrees and humid) b) get off my feet, and c) rehydrate. Iced tea and chocolate cream pie at Mick's fit the bill
4:00 back to Cook's Warehouse for a cooking demo by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Grabart...but despite getting there 10 minutes early, the seats are all taken. Stand for another hour enjoying the demo and the banter between the two of them, but by 5:00 the feet and knees have really had enough. Dupree did shrimp and grits (her newest book is all shrimp and grits variations) and pralines, Graubart did a bean and artichoke salad and a sweet bread from her One Armed Cook)
Best story of the day: Graubart got married in Rome, Italy (at Pat Conroy's villa) and Dupree cooked the wedding breakfast. But the write-up in the Atlanta paper reported that the wedding took place in Rome, Georgia, thanks to an editor who made an incorrect assumption. Not quite the same thing, y'know?