The piddlin’ around continues….

Published 6:01 pm Monday, January 30, 2023

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Every now and then, some things are done without any idea of the outcome.

The Brundidge Historical Society took a chance with the 2023 Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival the last weekend in January.

“Due to COVID, our last ‘annual’ storytelling festival was in January 2020, so we didn’t know what the response would be to this year’s festival,” said Lawrence Bowden, president of the sponsoring Brundidge Historical Society. “But, we knew that the longer we waited to bring back the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival, the harder it would be. So, we decided to go with it.”

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On the last weekend in January, the BHS hosted the 16th annual Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival on Friday night at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge and all day Saturday at the Trojan Center Theater at Troy University. The festival featured master storytellers, Donald Davis, Tim Lowry and Bil Lepp and three popular bands, The Lighthouse String Ensemble, The Benton Brothers and Company and The Sheppards.

“We knew going in that many similar events all around the country have been down about 20 percent, since the pandemic,” Bowden said. “We knew, too, that we would probably be down somewhere around that; however, we felt like if we didn’t have the festival, we might not ever have it again. We didn’t want to take a chance on that.”

Bowden said the Friday night concert at the We Piddle Around Theater was full as was the 3 p.m. concert at the Trojan Center Theater on Saturday.

“The morning concert at the Trojan Center had good attendance,” Bowden said. “The night concert usually has fewer than the other concerts and it did this year. But, overall, we were pleased and so appreciative of the support of the people from the Troy and Pike County areas and from places as distant as Florida, Georgia and Texas and, probably, places I don’t know about.”

Bowden said storytelling events can’t compete with modern technology and don’t intend to do so.

“Storytelling is a unique form of entertainment and probably the oldest,” he said. “The world has changed and, of course, it’s more visual, but there’s nothing like a story well-told. If things go as planned, the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival will be back the last weekend in January 2024, with stories, music and fellowship.”

Bowden, once again, expressed appreciation to all those who made this year’s Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival a success and provided the encouragement to continue sharing stories through the oral tradition next year and in years to come.