MiraCosta College in Oceanside. Photo via miracosta.edu

One of the largest cultural events of the year comes to MiraCosta College Aug. 12 when the Latino Book & Family Festival makes a stop at the Oceanside Campus. The free festival, expected to attract more than 5,000 guests, will be the biggest gathering of authors in the region and a perfect back-to-school kickoff for families.

More than two dozen workshops, along with family entertainment, exhibits, a bilingual story time and multiple vendors selling food, will offer something for every attendee.  Workshops will cover topics for children, students, parents and aspiring authors. More than 60 published authors will be on hand to discuss their books.

The festival is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with plenty of free parking available throughout the day.

The college is hosting the festival as part of its extensive outreach to the community. MiraCosta College District Superintendent/President Dr. Sunita “Sunny” Cooke will be on hand to introduce guest speakers, including former U.S. Ambassador Dr. Julian Nava and Carlsbad native and bestselling author Victor Villasenor. Nava, a longtime history professor at Cal State Northridge, was the first Mexican-American to graduate from Harvard and he became the first Mexican-American to hold the position of U.S. Ambassador to Mexico when he was appointed to the post by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Villasenor has published numerous books, including the national bestsellerRain of Gold and Pulitzer Prize-nominee, Lion Eyes.

Launched in Los Angeles in 1997 and co-produced by award-winning actor and community activist Edward James Olmos, the Latino Book & Family Festival has become a sought-after and popular event held in key Hispanic markets across the country and is aimed at promoting literacy, culture and education in a welcoming environment for the entire family. The festivals are operated through the nonprofit Latin Literacy Now dedicated to advancing reading and literature as a way of improving lives throughout the Latino community.

Festival sponsors include the Consulate General of Mexico in San Diego, Wells Fargo Bank, Rotary Club of Oceanside, El Latino San Diego, Souplantation, the International Society of Latino Authors, MiraCosta College and more.

The MiraCosta College Oceanside Campus is at 1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside, 92506.