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Spinning a Yarn: Storytellers Gather in Laurinburg

The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, NC) , May 18, 2007


The first-ever Storytelling Festival of Carolina takes place Saturday and Sunday on the grounds of the Historic John Blue House in Laurinburg.

Co-founders Jan Schmidt and Brenda Gilbert said the Scotland County festival was modeled after the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., an event that annually draws 20,000 people.

We figured if they can do it for 35 years going with a smaller community, then why not here? Schmidt said.

Were trying to build around our history, Schmidt said. We know were not going to draw 20,000, but this festival can be a great economic development tool for a community like ours.

The festival will feature both regional and national storytellers, Schmidt said.

The headlining yarn-spinners include Odds Bodkin, Bil Lepp and Donna Washington. Regional storytellers include Tyris Jones, Kat Littleturtle, Gwen Rainer, Barbara Locklear and Gilbert.

The tales they tell will range from tall to short and folk to fairy. A healthy dose of ghost stories and tales of the Underground Railroad will round things out.

Subjects Covered: storytelling festivals

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