Storyteller Donald Davis entertains the crowd at ArtsRevive’s Carneal Building Saturday evening during the annual Kathryn Tucker Windham Alabama Tale Tellin’ Festival.  Organizers said this year’s event drew some of the largest crowds the event has even seen. -- Sarah Robinson
Storyteller Donald Davis entertains the crowd at ArtsRevive’s Carneal Building Saturday evening during the annual Kathryn Tucker Windham Alabama Tale Tellin’ Festival. Organizers said this year’s event drew some of the largest crowds the event has even seen. -- Sarah Robinson

Recent Tale Tellin’ Festival a true success story

Published 10:19pm Monday, October 14, 2013

An event that began in a back alley on Water Avenue drew a crowd of more than 500 this weekend. The Kathryn Tucker Windham Alabama Tale Tellin’ Festival reported its biggest attendance in several years.

The festival arose from a kitchen table conversation between storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham and her friends. The first festival took place in downtown on Market Day. Since then the festival has grown, and even taken on the name of its creator. To honor Windham at this year’s festival, attendees wrapped up each evening by placing a comb over a piece of wax paper and playing a song.

ArtsRevive executive director Martha Lockett said she was pleased with attendance and surprised by the large youth audience on both days.

“We had to open up the back doors and there were people sitting out on the patio,” Lockett said. “Having a packed house is a good problem to have. We even had a large number of kids both nights.”

She attributed the large youth attendance to a new program the festival implemented this year. Storytellers went to local schools to tell tall tales and homespun humor.

“There was one child who had the storytellers come to school on Wednesday and told his parents we have to go hear them,” Lockett said. “We are going to do our best to find money to keep the school program going.”

Because of the event’s large attendance, Lockett said organizers have considered moving the event to a larger venue, but is unsure whether it’s a good idea.

“It’s better to have a small venue packed than a larger one that might only be half full,” she said. “ArtsRevive’s Carneal Building is really a perfect venue.”

Though the lineup has not been finalized for the 2014 Tale Tellin’ Festival, Lockett said it would take place Oct. 10-11, 2014. The population band The Dill Picklers will also return for next year’s festival.

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