Stories aren’t just for children – not in Cookeville, anyway. And plenty will be told during the Cookeville History Museum’s fourth annual Storyfest in the Park on April 22.
“This festival showcases the art of storytelling, which is very different from reading a book to a child,” Cookeville museums manager Beth Thompson said. “Storytellers basically reenact a story for you, usually in a humorous and animated way. It could be about something mundane in their day-to-day life that took on epic proportions or it could be a historical event or folktale you may have heard about. But everything has a different twist when these gifted performers take hold of it.”
The free event is scheduled for 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Dogwood Park under a large tent behind the Cookeville History Museum, a City of Cookeville Department of Leisure Services facility. This year’s theme is “Lend Us Your Ears.”
Even though the festival is still a few months away, Thompson wants to get the word out now so story lovers can save the date.
Headliners include nationally known storytellers Charlie McCoin, also a comedian and writer; Elizabeth Rose, who tells Appalachian folklore and other light-hearted stories; and Bil Lepp, five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest, whose humorous tall tales contain morsels of truth that present universal themes. Local storytellers Eliseo Rios, Peggy Fragopoulos, Calvin Dickinson and Jennie Ivey will also take part in the event. Musical interludes will be provided by Cookeville pianist and vocalist Matt Beal.
“We at the Cookeville museums feel the art of storytelling goes hand in hand with history, as the oral component of passing down our stories is crucial to retaining our collective narrative as a community, culture, region and nation,” Thompson said.
Storyfest sponsors include CityScape, Cookeville Arts Council, Friends of the Cookeville History Museum and Progressive Bank.
For more information, call the history museum at 931-520-5455, visit cookevillehistorymuseum.com or see updates on the museum’s Facebook page.