Photo courtesy Books in Bloom.

The Downtown Columbia Partnership (DTC Partnership) and The Howard Hughes Corp. have announced that Washington, D.C.-native Carl Bernstein the author and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter who famously broke the Watergate story – will headline the sixth annual Books in Bloom Festival. The 2022 event opens in Downtown Columbia on May 15, continuing the festival’s focus on activism through literature and open dialogue surrounding race, diversity and freedom of the press.

This year’s festival marks the 50th anniversary of Bernstein’s extraordinary break with fellow Post reporter Bob Woodward of the Watergate scandal, which remains one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. With his commitment to investigative journalism, Bernstein will discuss his latest memoir Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom, recalling his beginnings as a young journalist in Washington, with stories of the Kennedy era and the civil rights movement. Bernstein will join multiple authors in discussing their featured works as well as the First Amendment and fight against censorship. This year’s festival adds a new “Banned Book Pop-Up” element for all ages, highlighting important literary works that have faced controversy and censorship.

The festival and all associated events are free and open to the public. Additional authors and details will be announced later this month. For more information, visit