JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – After being cancelled in 2021 and becoming a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 8th Annual Mississippi Book Festival will return to Jackson as an in-person event this weekend.

The Mississippi Book Festival will be held on Saturday, August 20 on the lawn on the Mississippi State Capitol. The event will be from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The event will feature 46 authors, who are panelists. There will also be a book signing tent that is set up on the south lawn of the Capitol building with 172 authors.

Organizers said this year is expected to be their biggest festival yet.

Organizers also said they are excited about Alice Walker, who is the author of ‘The Color Purple’ and first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Literature, making an appearance at this year’s event.

Ellen Daniels, executive director of the Mississippi Book Festival, said they are excited to bring new and former authors to the festival. Authors from across the world are expected to attend.

“We are so excited about this, as we believe that doing this in Jackson is just what Jackson needs,” said Daniels. “We believe in the love of reading and that everyone should have some sort of access to books and their favorite author.”

Daniels said there will be 10 different sessions that participants can ask questions and share answers with panelists.

There will be vendors and activities for kids to engage in, as well as 15 food vendors on site.

This event is free and open to the public. Learn more about the festival here.