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Storytellers flock to LaGrange library

By Grace Braswell
Daily News

To members of the Azalea Storytelling Festival Committee, telling stories isn’t just about the story — it’s about the life experience behind the story.

That was what was made apparent on at A Taste of Storytelling Sunday afternoon at the LaGrange Memorial Library. The event is designed to preview the Azalea storytelling festival happening March 6 through March 8.

The LaGrange library hosted an overflowing crowd of community members Sunday, who all hold a bond over their love of storytelling. Joyce Morgan Young, co-founder of Azalea Storytelling festival, emphasized the passion that goes behind telling stories.

“We started A Taste of Storytelling eight years ago in order to remind people that the big festival is coming up,” Young said. “We want to get the community excited for what’s to come.”

All of the storytellers at A Taste of Storytelling were local community members who told such stories about growing up on small-town farms, to the relatable realities of airplane troubles.

The storytellers featured Sunday afternoon were Boyd Taylor, Sondra Bowie, Neecy Ridge and Joanna Baxter. Baxter, an Azalea Storytelling Committee member as well as storyteller, explained the importance of community involvement in storytelling.

“We want for people to get involved in storytelling,” Baxter said. “Our goal is to show that storytelling isn’t just for children — anyone can do it. Everyone has a story.”

The Azalea Storytelling Festival will be held at LaGrange College. The festival will feature storytellers from both in and out of the community, including Michael Reno Harrell, Andy Offut Irwin and several others.

There will also be music at the festival, provided by students at LaGrange College.

“The future is bright for the Azalea Storytelling Festival, as next year is the 25th annual festival,” Young said. “Our committee has a lot of exciting things planned for the years to come.”