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2006 Illinois Storytelling Festival

Published August 14, 2006

The Normal Storyteller was in attendance on Sunday, August 13 at the Illinois Storytelling Festival in Spring Grove, Illinois.  It was a smaller version of the once large festival that graced the grounds of Horse Fair Park in Spring Grove.  But small does not mean weak when there are tellers like Elizabeth Ellis, Donna Washington and Jim May.

The festival has undergone a re-organization over the past two years.  Three years ago, the festival was cancelled due to financial considerations.  It started up again last year on a small scale,  This year's festval showed signs that it is again healthy and ready to begin expanding to its former glory.  Festival Board Members were aready suggesting adding a second large tent next year for children's stories and family tales - even before this year's festival was over.

The need for the children's area became apparent when several of the Illinois Storytelling Inc. Board Members announced an impromptu program for children at a tent that had been used earlier for the liar's contest.  Large numbers of parents and children flocked from the large tent to the children's area for the impromptu program.  Mike Lockett was present when the first tellers entertained the children and was honored when when the Board Members allowed him in joining them in sharing stories with this faction of the festival audience after Board Member Linda Gorham recognized Lockett in the audience.  Lockett is a member of Illinois Storytelling, Inc. but is not on the board.  Listeners appreciated his telling of "Lazy Jack." 

Those who attended the festival will likely return next year.  Those who did not should find the date for next year's festival on their computers and mark it right away on their calendars.  You can link to the festival site by clicking on