Tucson Book Festival Canceled Over Coronavirus Fears

Published: Monday, March 9, 2020 - 3:47pm

Tucson has joined a growing number of cities across the country that are canceling major events over coronavirus concerns. The upcoming Tucson Festival of Books was canceled Monday after more than 100 authors pulled out. 

The festival draws several thousand people every year. On Monday, organizers said they were faced with the prospect of still more authors canceling, as well as volunteers. They initially were going to make it a “touch free” festival, meaning no handshaking and no author selfies.

Leann Hackman-Carty is a Canadian author whose book “Master Your Disaster” about how to deal with public disasters was going to be showcased at the festival.

She was surprised at the news and acknowledged the irony of her book’s title. But says she understands.

“Most communities, most organizations, most businesses haven’t even thought of a pandemic in part of their planning," Hackman-Carty said. 

There were five confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona as of Monday morning.