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Did somebody say 'Festival'?
Some attendees at this past Friday's Savannah Stopover "Pre-Party" hosted by Richard Lane; event is March 9-12 and you can purchase passes at

SINCE YOU might expect to read about politics in this space, let's get this out of the way first:

There are many people - more than a few, in fact - who believe Karl Rove belongs behind bars, not headlining the Savannah Book Festival.

Indeed, the move to bring the former Bush administration political guru to speak and sign books in Savannah this Sunday has sparked no small amount of grumbling among the usually mild-mannered local literary community.

But as a published author myself, my own objection to Rove's appearance has nothing to do with his politics. I just think a book festival needs to be reserved for actual writers, as opposed to celebrities who've published a book.

There's a difference, and the Savannah Book Festival should celebrate that difference.

Whether or not the Rove invite will prove a success remains to be seen. Two thoughts:

1) It's tough out there for nonprofits, and if the $10 donation to see Rove helps subsidize the rest of the Book Festival, which is free and well worth attending, then it's a net positive;

2) If the idea of breathing the same oxygen as Rove turns your stomach, keep in mind he appears on Sunday while the bulk of Book Festival events happen Saturday.

In any case, this weekend more or less officially kicks off Savannah's festival season for the year (no disrespect to the Telfair's awesome Pulse Festival in January intended).

This week we have extensive coverage of the aforementioned Savannah Book Festival, including several great author interviews.

Bill DeYoung writes about the Savannah Irish Festival, rollicking at the Civic Center and not to be confused with St. Patrick's Day itself.

And we feature the first installment of our in-depth coverage, continuing throughout the next several weeks, of the altogether unique Savannah Stopover, a new music festival which Connect Savannah is extremely proud to serve as chief media sponsor.

Oh, if you still need your politics fix: Check out Patrick Rodgers' piece this issue summing up the week in the city manager search.