By Denise Gary
Photos by Bruce Matsunaga and Shelby McBride


Oh, the great times we always have at the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival book drive for Kids Need to Read! For six years, the festival has been holding the book-raiser benefiting KNTR during their highly popular Pirate Invasion Weekend and this year, the festival raised 600 books! The annual book drive is an enormous blessing to our organization … in addition to being just plain fun!


Every child who swaggered, flittered, or sashayed up to the Kids Need to Read station with a new children’s book was provided with a free admission ticket to the faire (courtesy of Arizona Renaissance Festival), a free Highlights magazine (sponsored by Highlights for Children), and a seafaring coloring page designed by Red Nebula Studios!




Kids Need to Read hosted pirate costume contests for children and adults.


The costumes were stupendous!



Contestants young and old had to display their swagger . . .


. . .  and demonstrate their “arrrrg.”


Some even tried to bribe HRH, the Queen.


Village citizenry stopped by KNTR’s station to enjoy the growing collection of books.


His Eminence, the Mayor, made an intellectual choice in reading material.


Festival goers were enthusiastic to learn more about our cause.


Of course, we managed to find some moments to eat faire delicacies, purchase unique treasures, and enjoy the entertainment.


We were so grateful to receive so many fantastic books, while the adults and children were thrilled to receive their tickets, magazines and coloring pages.


HUZZAH to Arizona Renaissance Festival for providing this terrific opportunity to Kids Need to Read every year! We also thank Highlights for Children for their generous magazine donations to our organization, so that we are constantly able to inspire children to read wherever our organization goes. Our treasured partnerships ensure the continuation of Kids Need to Read’s efforts to provide children with the benefit of a literate future.


Be sure to join us again next year, and don’t forget to bring new children’s books and sport your finest pirate attire. You are sure to have a great time, while helping Kids Need to Read to provide much-needed literacy support to children!


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