Gathered Together: 22nd Annual Azalea Storytelling Festival Draws Crowd

The first weekend in March usually means sunshine, a cool breeze, and maybe a light dusting of pollen over the City of La-Grange. It also means it’s time for the LSPA’s annual Azalea Storytelling Festival. This year’s Festival was a huge success, drawing guests from all over to hear tall tales, funny anecdotes, and reflective pieces.

This year, the Azalea Storytelling Festival had four renowned storytellers: Michael Reno Harrell, Dolores Hydock, Kevin Kling, and Bil Lepp. Carol Cain was Emcee for the entire weekend, and introduced each storyteller. For 22 years, the Azalea Storytelling Festival has gathered together some of the best storytellers from all over the country, and this year was no different.

The crowds loved hearing Michael Reno Harrell’s original songs that ranged from hilarious to nostalgic and everything in between, as well as his Tennessee tales. Dolores Hydock pleased listeners with her real-life reflective stories that brought a spark of humor that engaged everyone in the room. Kevin Kling, who had been to LaGrange several times for storytelling, explored the funny bits of his Midwestern raising and the tenderness of childhood and growing up. Bil Lepp brought his imagination with him, as this self-proclaimed liar spun tales so funny, listeners didn’t even care if they were true.

Attendees of the 22nd Annual Azalea Storytelling festival were treated to an excellent weekend of storytelling, entertainment, and company. In addition to the storytelling, there were also shuttles to Downtown restaurants during mealtimes, books for sale, music from LaGrange College, the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra, and on Sunday, coffee and donuts with a performance by the Dulcimer Troupers from First United Methodist Church of La-Grange.

The LSPA is already gearing up for their upcoming events. July 8th – 14th of this year will be the Storytelling Workshop with Donald Davis. Carol Cain also announced the 2019 Azalea Storytelling Festival Lineup. March 1st – 3rd, 2019 attendees will be able to hear stories from Donald Davis, Josh Goforth, Tim Lowry, and Ed Stivender.

The author of this article can be reached via email at rhenderson@troupcountynews. net.