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The Fifth Annual Bookish Ball and Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration

The Harvard Square Business Association, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, the Cambridge Public Library, and Revels proudly present a day-long event celebrating Harvard Square book stores, the birth of the Bard and the return of an icon!

On April 28th, please join the Harvard Square Business Association, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, the Cambridge Public Library, Revels, Zumix and all of Harvard Square’s book stores for the Fifth Annual Bookish Ball and Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration. This free, family friendly festival will feature book store strolls, live music, dancing, performances, birthday cake and a sidewalk procession led by Curious George!

The festivities begin at 11:00am, in the Whale Room at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, where children of all ages are encouraged to make unique and colorful banners, signs and hats to be carried during our festive sidewalk procession through the streets of Cambridge.

At approximately 11:55am, Toni Bee, Poet Populist of Cambridge, will engage the crowd at the library with a reading of one of her poems. Immediately following, at approximately 12:05pm,  the group will “parade” from the library through the streets of Harvard Square led by the man of the hour, Curious George, the Man in the Yellow Hat portrayed by Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s very own Allyn Burrows, and our special guest, Dr. Nick Walton from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

At approximately 12:30pm, the procession will arrive in Harvard Square and gather at 1 JFK Street, where dignitaries, members of the Cambridge community, and lovers of an inquisitive monkey named George will gather for the ribbon cutting and grand opening of The World’s Only Curious George Store – Harvard Square.  The new store, under the ownership of two local entrepreneurs, Jamie and Adam Hirsch, offers an extensive selection of children’s books in a creative space along with uniquely designed merchandise available only through the store and its website.

Immediately following the festivities at The World’s Only Curious George Store – Harvard Square, everyone is encouraged to visit Palmer Street where the party continues!  AfroBrazil Boloco will energize the crowd with their distinctive, infectious beats, artists will be on hand creating remarkable chalk drawings, and cake and ice cream will be served in honor of William Shakespeare, who turns 448 in 2012! In addition, there will be performances by Charlestown Working Theatre, FuFu and Oreos, face painting, balloon artists, toasts, reading and more.

Schedule of Events:

  • 10:30am – Chalk artists begin drawing on Palmer Street
  • 11:00am – Banner and hat craft activity – Whale Room at the Cambridge Public Library
  • 11:55am – Reading by Toni Bee, Poet Populist of Cambridge at the Cambridge Public Library
  • 12:05pm – Sidewalk Procession departs the Cambridge Public Library; AfroBrazil Boloco and activities on Palmer Street including face painting, balloon artists, and  Open Air Circus Workshop
  • 12:30pm – Sidewalk Procession arrives in Harvard Square and assembles for the ribbon cutting at The World’s Only Curious George Store Harvard Square, 1 JFK Street
  • 12:45pm – Toasts, Common Text Reading, performances and cake and ice cream on Palmer Street
  • 1:00pm – Performance by Zumix on Palmer Street
  • 1:15pm – Performance by AfroBrazil Boloco on Palmer Street
  • 2:00pm – Shakespeare Pub Talk – moderated by Dr. Nick Walton

Harvard Square is proud to be the home of over a dozen book and printed word shops. Many will be holding events, book readings and promotions to celebrate the Bookish Ball. Details will be forthcoming.

The following book stores are offering promotions and events in conjunction with the Bookish Ball and Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration:

Grolier Poetry Book Shop6 Plympton Street, (617) 547-4648

Grolier Poetry Book Shop will be offering 20% off their tote bags.

Harvard Book Store1256 Massachusetts Avenue, (617) 661-1515

Harvard Book Store holds a Shakespeare Sale, in honor of Shakespeare’s birthday and the Bookish Ball. On April 28th, all books by or about Shakespeare will be 20% off.

The Harvard Coop 1400 Massachusetts Avenue, (617) 499-2000

April is National Poetry Month – Check our web site & facebook page for information on the COOP’S ANNUAL Poetry contest for children Grades K-8
2 pm, Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Save 20% on ALL Kid’s Poetry Books & come join us for the Harvard Coop Annual Poetry “Open Mic Day” for all kids, grades K-8!  We will host an open mic for all Kids Poetry Participants who want to share their poetry!!!

We will then announce the WINNERS of the contest. In appreciation of everyone’s efforts, a complete anthology of entries will go on exhibit in the Children’s Book Department.

Schoenhof’s Foreign Books 76A Mount Auburn Street, (617) 547-8855

In celebration of the annual Bookish Ball, Schoenhof’s Foreign Books is offering a 20% discount on its rich selection of foreign language children’s books.

There will be a reading in French from 3PM to 4PM from the enduring masterpiece, “Fables” of Jean de La Fontaine. Some of the fables that will ntertain the public are:  “La Cigale et la Fourmi” (The Grasshopper and the Ant), “Le Corbeau et le Renard” (The Raven and the Fox), “La Grenouille qui veut se faire aussi grosse que le Boeuf” (The Frog that Wished to be as Big as the Ox) to name a few. Light refreshments will be served.after the reading. In addition, Schoenhof’s Foreign Books will be hosting a reading by internationally acclaimed Cuban poet in exile, Juana Rosa Pita on Saturday the 28th of April from 4:30-6:00PM. Dr. Pita will read from her bilingual Spanish/English work “Manual de Magia/Manual of Magic”.  Free refreshments will be served.

The Bookstores and Printed Word Shops of Harvard Square – 2012

Harvard Coop est. 1882
Grolier Poetry Book Shop
est. 1927
Harvard Book Store
est. 1932
Schoenhof’s Foreign Books
est. 1856
Bentley Publishers
est. 1950
Out of Town News
est. 1955
The Crimson Corner
est. 1962
Million Year Picnic
est. 1974
Newbury Comics
est. 1978
Revolution Bookstore
est.1979
New England Comics
est.1988
James and Devon Gray Books
est.1992
The World’s Only Curious George Store Harvard Square
 est. 2012
Raven Used Books
est. 2005

The Bookish Ball and the Bard’s Birthday celebration, presented by the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, coincides with the many celebrations happening around the world in conjunction with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon- Avon, England.

This event has been made possible by the generosity of Bank of America.

For more information about these and other events in Harvard Square, please visit www.harvardsquare.com

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