TwainFest Returns to Old Town for a Second Year

July 18, 2011

–The Father of American Literature Comes to Old Town for a Second Year –

Fiesta de Reyes Historic Interpreter Eric Minella will reprise his part of Mark Twain at TwainFest on Aug. 20 in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Celebrate your family’s love of literature at TwainFest, an all-day festival celebrating Mark Twain and other popular writers of the 19th century. Presented by Write Out Loud, Fiesta de Reyes, and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, TwainFest will be held on Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the park’s plaza with added presentations at the Whaley House Museum.

The festival marks 101 years of Mark Twain’s passing and celebrates the American author as well as some of his peers who are famous writers of the 19th century. You can expect to hear written works from Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Edgar Allan Poe and others. Excerpts will be read aloud by costumed San Diego actors at a variety of park venues throughout the day.

The presentations will include readings of 19th century literature, 19th century music and sing-a-longs, “Mark Twain for Kids” at Steely Stables, “Garden of Literary Delights” at Casa de Estudillo, Prof. Pudd’nhead & Co. puppets on the Fiesta de Reyes stage and a 19th century séance conjuring Edgar Allan Poe & Mary Shelly.

Literary games will delight the entire family, as well as sack races, tug of war, marbles, ring toss and other games of the period for the kids. There will be unique family games to promote literature like Fish for Words, Chortle This! and Telegraph Crunch. A spelling bee will run throughout the day as well as a community-wide Never Ending Story to which anyone who wishes may contribute. Admission is free to the public at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Other sponsors include j. simms agency, Cygnet Theatre, Geppetto’s Toys, heART of Old Town, Lamb’s Players Theatre, Playwrights Project, Arthur & Jeanette Pratt Memorial Fund and The Heller Foundation. For more information, contact Walter Ritter from Write Out Loud at 619-297-8953 or by email at

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