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Arts & Culture

South Dakota Festival of Books switches from in-person to virtual


Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books is switching from an in-person format to an all-virtual format, according to a news release from the South Dakota Humanities Council.

Per Centers for Disease Control reports, several counties in the Black Hills region surrounding Deadwood, where the event was to be held, are at high risk for community infection.

“Health officials that we have contacted for advice have suggested that the surge will remain high for the next month,” said Ann Volin, director of the South Dakota Humanities Council, which hosts the annual event. “We believe the risk to the health of our authors, patrons, volunteers, vendors, and staff is too great to move forward as originally planned.”

The festival, in its 19th year of bringing readers and writers together, typically includes more than 100 public presentations and was scheduled for Oct. 1-3 in Deadwood. In lieu of in-person events, the 50-plus authors on the 2021 roster will discuss books, teach workshops, and interact with fans via Zoom and Facebook live.

The 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books will kick off with a virtual welcome on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 30, and continue with events throughout the weekend and into mid-October.

Featured at the 2021 Festival are local and regional authors as well as nationally recognized writers such as Pulitzer winner N. Scott Momaday and Newbery Honor-winning children’s author Kwame Alexander. For the full lineup, and information about tickets and access to the virtual event, visit sdbookfestival.com.