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IN STITCHES: Storytellers entertain audience at Pike Piddlers Festival

The 2019 Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival kicked off Thursday night with a “set down” at the Johnson Center for the Arts with Charlie Lucas and Sheila Kay Adams, who told stories about their friendships with Alabama’s legendary storyteller the late Kathryn Tucker Windham. The storytelling festival came to a rollicking close on Saturday night at the Trojan Center Theater on the campus of Troy University. Then, it was on down to Tennille Sunday morning for a time of old-time singing.

During those times and in between more than 1,500 people experienced the magic of story.

Kids as young as 12 and as senior as 90-sometning were part of the annual weekend of storytelling.

Angie Grice, assistant headmaster at Pike Liberal Arts School, said 62 students from grades six and 12 were among the 300 students who attended the storytelling event for schools at the Trojan Center Theater Friday morning.

Grice said a 12th grader said he didn’t expect to be entertained but, surprisingly, he was and well entertained.

“In the age of cell phones, storytelling events like this give our young people opportunities to learn the value of storytelling, of our oral history,” Grice said. “We appreciate the opportunity to have this experience for our students.”

Storytelling is for all ages and, for first-timer Jennifer Hornsby, the festival was a family thing and all ages came along.

“We had a wide range of ages, from early 20s to 80s,” Hornsby said. “We all had a great time and we all had our different favorites. All of the stories different and the storytellers were very different. Our family likes to sit around at home and tell stories and it was a lot like that. Just sitting around, laughing and enjoying stories. We will be back. Absolutely.”

Brian and Jan Peters make the annual trek from North Alabama to spend the storytelling weekend in Pike County. They attend all four storytelling concerts and they bring along friends to share in the fun.

“As long time attendees to the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival, we found this year’s lineup to be one of the best collection of storytelling excellence that we have ever heard,” Brian Peters said. “And that sentiment was echoed by the other two couples we invited to the festival this year. We are already looking forward to next year’s festival.”

The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival is held the last weekend in January at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge and the Trojan Center Theater at Troy University. It is sponsored annually by the Brundidge Historical Society.