If George West is the storytelling capital of Texas, then the 26th annual George West Storyfest on Saturday, November 1, surely will be the small, rural town’s highlight of the year. The family-oriented festival features storytelling, cowboy poetry and music.
Join the George West Storyfest Association for a quality event dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of storytelling — the art of passing information from one generation to the next history, legends, folklore, music and dance. The Texas tradition takes place around the Live Oak County courthouse square.
Featured tellers include Lynn Ruehlmann, who loves telling tales about the fascinating folks in her own life as much as bringing characters from Greek myths and history to live in story. Also performing will be Appalachian teller Suzi “Mama” Whaples, known for her unaffected dialect, lightning quick wit and gentle demeanor. Irish-American storyteller, guitarist, percussionist and virtuoso ukulelist Tom McDermott will accompany his family stories, adapted folktales, myths and Southern lore with humor and music inspired by his grandmother’s opera career as much as by his uncle’s tall tales and bluegrass music.
Dennis Gaines, cowboy poet, storyteller and former “Texas State Champion Liar” said about a past year’s Storyfest: “I had a wonderful, wonderful time. Walking up and down the street, everybody I saw had a smile on their face.”
Vying for the title of the next Texas Champion Liar, and this year for the first time Youth Texas Champion Liar, contestants will once again tell their wildest tales at the festival, 2–4 p.m.
In addition to reflecting the past, enriching the present and imagining the future though storytelling, the George West Storyfest is an opportunity for local nonprofit organizations to hold a major annual fundraiser. The various groups will set up around the square, selling food for their causes. There will also be arts and crafts vendors, so you can get some early Holiday shopping done. A 5K race, a classic car show and a Little Red Wagon Parade round out the day’s program.
The children’s area will feature H-E-Buddy Land and Sonny the Birdman, who teaches kids about exotic birds. Leading up to the festival, organizers will dispatch professional storytellers into local schools to promote literacy among children.
Admission to the George West Storyfest is free.