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Bringing tall tales to life

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Decatur, Ala. – Top storytellers from across the United States will make their way to Athens the last weekend of October for the sixth annual Athens Storytelling Festival. The family-friendly event, set for October 25-27, 2012, offers three days of storytelling, readings, and musical performances at the Limestone County Courthouse square in downtown Athens. 

This year’s event has been named a Top 20 event for October by the Southeast Tourism Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism to its 12 member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

Set to appear at this year’s event are Emmy Award winner Bobby Norfolk; internationally known Carmen Deedy; author Donald Davis; actress Dolores Hydock; “folk music’s rustic renaissance man” John McCutcheon; well-known playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling; and internationally acclaimed performer, consultant, teaching artist, workshop leader, and keynote speaker Sherry Norfolk. Stories will be told in the big tent on Marion Street, between Market and Washington. In addition, a variety of food vendors and local restaurants will tantalize your taste buds and many shops ranging from antiques, hardware, clothing, gourmet food and more will be open for the festivities. 

The event kicks off on Thursday with An Evening with John McCutcheon. Hosted by Athens State University’s J. Harrison and Robbie Nelle Christopher Livingston Concert Lecture Series, this performance is free to the general public. An award-winning singer, songwriter, composer, teacher, author and poet, McCutcheon has a knack for bringing his listeners together, including those who might not otherwise share common generational or political ground. 

Hours are 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. both days. Gate admission each day is $25/adult and $12/child 5-16 years old or $40/adult and $20/child 5-16 years old for both days. Additional ticket options are available on the Festival’s website at www.athensstorytellingfestival.com. For a biography on each storyteller and a complete schedule of events, visit the festival’s web site or for more information, call Chairman Wayne Kuykendall at 256. 232.0400. 

The Festival hosts Tennessee Valley area school groups and homeschoolers where students will be enlightened and entertained with the power of storytelling for free during school hours on Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the event. Reservations are required by sending an email to Nanci Spears at info@athensstorytellingfestival.com.