ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Book Fest is returning to Elmira for its sixteenth year this weekend. Book Fest is a family-friendly event that tries to spark the joy of reading to children.

"This is a big party that has to do with celebrating books and reading and fun," said Michelle Halperin, the organizer of Book Fest.

The 'party' is happening Sunday at Elmira's Wisner Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature live music, character readers, games and other activities. Free books will also be given out to children while supplies last.

"A lot of children... get caught up in the academic piece of reading... [and reading] that allows us to relax and allows us to escape often gets put to the side as we focus on that academic piece. Book Fest reminds us all that reading is fun or it should be fun," Halperin said.

Sunday's festival will feature author Matthew McElligott.

This year's theme is "Be Bold! Be Brave! Be You!". Book Fest is organized by the Family Reading Partnership of Chemung Valley, a local non-profit run by volunteers.

To learn more about Book Fest, click here.