TwainFest Media

Saturday, August 20th: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Produced by Write Out Loud
and Sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

TwainFest, now a tradition for many San Diego families, is an all day FREE festival celebrating Mark Twain and the literature and culture of 19th Century America. There is something for everyone at this festive old­ fashioned gathering at the park. Presentations occur at a variety of park venues throughout the day.

Returning Festival Favorites:

●  Local San Diego performers present 19th Century stories and poems by Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walt Whitman, Eugene Field, Cervantes and many more at venues throughout the park.

●  Prof. Pudd’nhead & Co. puppets will delight the little ones.

●  Cygnet Theatre’s Storytelling on the Green troupe presents abridged Shakespeare designed for young people.

●  Giant puppets of Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Edgar Allan Poe will wander the green.

●  An arcade of unique literary games and activities designed especially for TwainFest will enterain players of all ages on the green. The Election of 1872, Jim Hawkins Treasure Hunt, Wheel of Fiction and Telegraph Crunch are just a few activities that join sack races, ring toss and other games of the period to assure a fun-­filled yet educational day for all ages.

●  A 19th Century Spelling Bee will run throughout the day as well as a community wide Never Ending Story, to which anyone who wishes may contribute.

●  For those who want to dress up in period attire there’s a 19th Century Literary Costume Contest.

●  A backdrop of 19th Century music enlivens the day’s activities.

●  Free books are provided to all who participate in 5 or more activities.

New To TwainFest for 2016:

Each year, Write Out Loud strives to expand and diversify the cultural family friendly offerings for TwainFest. This year, three new presentations join returning festival favorites.

●  The Authors Salon will provide the opportunity to meet Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson and other beloved writers of the period.

●  The Armory Band will recreate the only band that played for both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, providing patriot music of the time played on vintage instruments.

●  A Civil War Field Encampment, complete with General Grant, will provide classes for all ages in fife and drum and artillery

  • In addition to TwainFest, Write Out Loud ­ led by Artistic Director, Veronica Murphy and Executive Director, Walter Ritter ­ provides the community five other core programs serving over 16,000 people annually. Additional programs include a six show season of Story Concerts presented at Old Town Theatre, Stories for Seniors, StoryBox Theatre for elementary students, Read Imagine Create for teens and Poetry Out Loud for high school students.

    Press Contact: Susan Clausen * 619­-933­-0038 * *

Press Release for Twainfest 2016:   twainfest2016-pressrelease  (click to open pdf)

Photos for Twainfest:  Click on photo for HiRes version


Edgar Allen Poe puppet: photo credit Kim Keeline


1872 Election booth at Twainfest – photo credit Kim Keeline


Hucklberry singing group at Twainfest: photo credit Write Out Loud


Jumping Frog catapult at Twainfest: photo credit Write Out Loud


Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain puppets at Twainfest: photo credit Write Out Loud


Shakespeare players at Twainfest: Photo Credit John Bryant


Shakespeare players at Twainfest: Photo Credit John Bryant


Shakespeare players at Twainfest: Photo Credit John Bryant


Neverending Story booth at Twainfest: Photo Credit John Bryant


Walter and Veronica at Twainfest: photo credit John Bryant