The place to be this weekend is the Lilac Festival on Sunday. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only place to be.

Maybe if you don’t like big crowds of happy people, live music and sunshine, you might want to consider some other options. (Just a note here: If you hate happy people, music and warm light, you might want to consider some therapy in lieu of the following. And I mean that as your friend.)

As the choice in Calgary’s cultural scene thickens, our writers are emerging from the quiet cafés and dark home offices where they work. Chapters at 9631 Macleod Trail S. is hosting a hodgepodge of wordsmiths on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., including local foodies dee Hobsbawn-Smith and John Gilchrist. Close to 30 writers will be answering questions and signing books.

“It’s such a nice way to remind the writers of the value of our audience and to see what we’re bringing to people’s lives,” says non-fiction author Sheelagh Matthews. For more information, call 212-1442. This event is free. Except for the Starbucks, that is.

OK, perhaps if you don’t like crowds, a bunch of writers and their fans congregating isn’t for you. What about catching The Hives instead?

Not that kind. I mean the Swedish rock band. They play MacEwan Hall tonight at 7 p.m. Take a listen to their pure rock sound that smacks of the Stones at thehives. You like? Tix are $33 plus surcharges at Ticketmaster.

Wait, that sounds like music. Try this one.

The Calgary International Children’s Festival has been showcasing music, art and theatre for kids this week. Here’s a play for 10 to 14-year-olds that reads like a precursor to the upcoming Sex And The City movie. Shopping For Shoes follows the adventures of a girl named Siobhan who wants her crush Shaun to like her as much as he loves brand-name running shoes. Sounds like Carrie Bradshaw to me.

Tickets for the Friday and Saturday shows are $10. Visit for info.

Hmm, if crowds of happy people aren’t your deal, screaming kids hopped-up on sugar probably aren’t either. You might want to stay home this weekend. Or book that appointment ASAP.

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