The 31st Annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair returns to St. Petersburg’s Historic Coliseum March 9-11, 2012.
The book fair is the oldest and largest fair of its kind in the Southeastern United States and features more than one hundred specialized dealers from all over the country. This year’s “Book Sail” theme celebrates the long maritime history of the Tampa Bay area and Florida.
Visitors will find books of every age and about every conceivable topic, including modern fiction, Americana,Florida history and literature, travel and exploration, fine bindings, poetry, cooking, military history, world history, the classics, art books, religion, children's literature, illustrated books.
Additional materials found at the Fair include maps, prints, postcards, ephemera, autographs and other paper collectibles.
A complete list of the exhibitors is available at http://www.FloridaBooksellers.com.
Many dealers will help carry out this year’s “Book Sail” theme by featuring nautical books in their displays. The theme is a natural for Florida and for Tampa Bay, reports Mike Slicker, Book Fair Chairman.
"After all,” he explains, “It was here that Spanish explorer Nunez Cabeza de Vaca landed and began his cross-country journey. Hernando de Soto landed here just seven years later. The two earliest explorations of the North American continent started right here.”
"During the Civil War, blockade runners defied the United States government to bring the South needed supplies. The U.S. Navy did its best to prevent that activity. During Prohibition, rum runners plied the Florida coastline with prohibited alcohol, taking advantage of Florida’s long coastline with plenty of hidden inlets.
"In more recent times, great yacht designers like Morgan were headquartered here. The pram was developed here. In the old days, if you simply wanted to go from St. Petersburg to Tampa, you had to take a sailboat."
"Always, throughout the region's history, sailing, ships, and boats have had a huge influence. As a result of that, we are celebrating 'Book Sail.' "
The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is open Friday, March 9 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is $10 Friday and is good for the entire weekend. Saturday and Sunday, tickets are $6 for the day or $10 for the weekend. Children 12 and under, and students with valid identification, are free. Parking is free.
Ticket sales benefit the St Petersburg Public Library.
Discount coupons are available online at http://www.Floridabookfair.blogspot.com or on Facebook (search: “Florida Bookfair”).
Food and beverages are available onsite. St. Petersburg’s Historic Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, is known as “the finest ballroom in the South.” It opens its oak dance floor to everything from ballroom dancing to corporate functions. Opened in 1925, the building was nicknamed the “Palace of Pleasure” in the Roaring 20’s, and has played host to such famed artists as Louie Armstrong, Buddy Rich, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Harry James, among others.