DSM Book Festival returns after two years of COVID issues

In 2019, the festival was named the best new event in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association.

DES MOINES, Iowa — For the last two years, it seemed like COVID just kept getting in the way of everyone’s plans. But with events like the DSM Book Festival back in full swing, events season is coming back to the metro in a big way.

Capital Square was filled with literature lovers Saturday, ranging from amateur writers to professional authors. All of them came to bond over their mutual love of books.

“I was looking for something interesting to do in the morning and came across the Book Festival, looked at the programs that were going to be offered and thought, ‘This is great’,” said Colette Noble, who attended the event.

Attendees had the chance to attend book signings with authors, go to workshops on everything from becoming a novelist to improving their nonfiction writing, or even learn how to read in Braille.

“We wanted to create a book festival that was memorable and created experiences for all. So we set out to create the DSM Book Festival and make it such that it would be the best in the Midwest,” said Tiffany Tauscheck, Chief Operations Officer of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

The festival began in 2019, and that first year was named the best new event in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association. Then COVID hit.

The 2020 festival was scrapped entirely, and in 2021 the event was spread over multiple weekends.

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“We had to navigate quite a few challenging times with the pandemic. But we are so excited to have the DSM Book Festival back in downtown DSM,” Tauscheck said.

Now, with COVID levels declining around the country, events like the book festival are coming back from the long break, and organizers are looking forward to making the most of the opportunity.

“We are so excited to have more things happening in downtown. We know that there is a lot of vibrancy already in downtown and we’re just going to continue to build upon that in the future,” Tauscheck said.

So what else is there to look forward to around the meter?

Coming up on May 7, the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market opens for the season, and May will also kick off the “Out to Lunch” series for the year, featuring food trucks and live music.

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