COLUMBIA, S.C. — The 19-year-old South Carolina Book Festival is being canceled in favor of new statewide events.

The State of Columbia reports that officials with The Humanities Council of South Carolina said Thursday that the annual springtime book festival held in Columbia will give way to new literary offerings across the state.

Widely considered one of the Southeast’s premier literary events, the book festival usually brings about 6,000 visitors to the Midlands each year.

Festival director T.J. Wallace says the decision was made with the organization’s core mission of affecting all South Carolina residents in mind, and not because of the approximately $200,000 expense of hosting the free event.

Executive director Randy Akers says the new initiatives will include a bureau featuring authors and writing instructors who can travel across the state for public programs.

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Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com