The Dill Pickers, a vocal string band and theaterical group based out of Birmingham, serenaded those at the Alabama Tale Tellin’ Festival Friday night. The Dill Pickers will perform again Saturday evening at the festival. -- Sarah Cook

Tale Tellin’ Festival off to a fantastic start

Published 12:59am Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stories of times spent on Chandler Mountain and sounds of a steel guitar radiated throughout the Carneal ArtsRevive building Friday night as Selma residents and out-of-towners enjoyed the first night of the Alabama Tale Tellin’ Festival.

The night opened with folklore tales from actress and storyteller Dolores Hydock, who has been a feature storyteller at the National Story Telling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn.

After many laughs were shared, Carmen Agra Deedy gave a delightful performance recalling her childhood growing up in Georgia as a Cuban immigrant.

Ann Thomas, chairperson for the festival, said she, along with other members of Arts Revive choose the storytellers each year based on their outstanding talent “because we want people that are quality people. These ladies just told an every day story, but held everyone’s attention. Not many can do that.”

Thomas added that many “folks come from out of town to see this.” Last year, the crowd had several people who traveled from Florida, Georgia and several other places to enjoy the festival.

“There’s one couple, I haven’t seen them yet, but they’ve been coming for years and years and bringing their daughter to this,” she said. “More people come from out of town than in town.”

After the storytellers came the Dill Pickers, which Thomas said is always a crowd favorite.

“They’ve just become favorites and everybody loves them, some people come just to hear them,” she said.

The Dill Pickers, who have been performing at the festival for seven years, provided gospel, bluegrass and soul tunes for the evening.

Thomas said the festival offers something most people can’t find elsewhere.

“We’re losing the stories that make up generations and I think that’s just so important because it gives you a history,” she said. “It gives you roots, stories give you roots — and that’s important.”

The festival will continue Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. with the “Swappin’ Ground,” a time when the audience can participate and share their own stories. Then, the storytellers will begin at 7 p.m. followed by the Dill Pickers. Ticket cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger.

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