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Eighth annual Stories in the Garden held

On Sunday, a crowd of story lovers listened to a boisterous  series of tales by renowned storyteller Andy Offutt Irwin from underneath umbrellas.

The long-awaited fall shower only served to punctuate his accounts of seasonal shenanigans, with brief interludes where other speakers took to the stage and the Troup Dulcimers performed in the pecan grove at the Hills & Dales Estate.

“This is our eighth year that we’ve done it, so I know all the folks involved with the Azalea Storytelling Festival,” said Carleton Wood, the executive director of Hills & Dales Estate. “They love stories. They themselves are working to become storytellers, and they love to bring a professional in.”

Wood said that his favorite part of the annual program is getting to listen to the local storytellers. Stories in the Garden is one of several local events connected to the Azalea Storytelling Festival, which draws crowds of story lovers to LaGrange every year.

“If you stay in LaGrange long enough, all those people [from the National Storytelling Festival] will show up here,” said Zachry Taylor, who emceed the event. 

“Azalea, held in March, is recognized as one of the top festivals nationally. We are celebrating our 24th event this coming March, as we kick off our 25th year anniversary.”

To learn more about the Azalea Storytelling Festival, visit Lsparts.org/azalea/.