Once upon a time…

…there was a town called Story City that held an annual storytelling festival.

I was actually on the board for the 2012 festival and so I obviously went to some of the events. The festival kicked off on Thursday with a catered meal. The unique thing about this event was that in between courses one of the tellers would share a story. The meal was catered by Chef Chris Hansen, a local well known chef, and it was superb. The four story tellers for the festival were Dale Jarvis, Mary Hamilton, Arif Choudhury, and Maureen Korte.

This festival (for more information check out there website) has been held for the last 7 years. On Friday I headed out to the campfire to hear some scary stories by both professionals and amateurs. The first story was a Native American tale about the Windigo. It was a fun little story about how mosquitoes came about. Then there was a story about the beginning of jack-o-lanterns. One of the professional tellers also shared a story, which I thought was pretty cool since it wasn’t required. It was also perfect, Dale Jarvis loves to tell suspenseful stories as well as tales from the Brothers Grimm. The evening was wrapped up with the MC bringing out the amusing side of everyday life. I thought it was really great. It was neat because he took something simple, owning several farm cats and the yearly invasion of mice that come at harvest, and made it more. He was a crack up and he didn’t even really try to be. Which I think is the best way to be.

The next day was the big day of the festival. Complete with workshops, matinees, farmers (ish) market, and story stops. I ran the info booth at the market and it was quite the collection. There were 3 authors, several home businesses (such as Watkins, Norwex and the like), a couple vintage/antique booths, kringla, and so much more. It was a bitingly cold day. Of course, ask me and a few months and I’ll laugh about it. It was the first cold weekend of the year and it hasn’t been as cold since, but it did hit that weekend. That kept some people away from the outdoor events (such as the campfire and market) but overall it was a good turnout.

My aunt and cousin came down for the concert that night. It was a pretty fun evening especially since they ended up staying at my place. Which was a new experience for the family (rather than them staying with my parents 10 miles away). The next day I missed the ending of the festival in lieu of keeping a family tradition. That Sunday was the annual Octagon Art Festival in Ames. Unlike the day before it was a warm day, although both were bright so still enjoyable. What I love about the festival is that there is just so much to take in. You get to see all manner of art and craft types. Anywhere from a guy that takes burls (wood pieces) from the river and refines them into bowls and things to a lady that dies silk to make it look like a watercolor. Just a wide range so there is something for everyone.

The weekend finale was my first parks & rec volleyball game. It was a bit tricky since our team was pulled together last minute, comprised mainly of subs. It was the first time we’d play together and we were in the competitive league. It was still a blast though. (Update we have since played again and after one practice we were already more competitive. We still lost, but it wasn’t the annihilation it was that first week. And that is a fair comparison because, bizarrely, we played the exact same two teams.)

So that’s it. A very jammed pack weekend. Until next time ~ Q

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