Great performances highlight successful ‘Storyfest’ event

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The 20th annual ‘Storyfest’ was held last Thursday and Friday, and even with a little rain falling for only the second time in two decades, the event was again a rousing success.

“We got very positive feedback from the teachers and others who attended,” coordinator Martha Bladen said. “We were a little worried this year because we had three individual performers, where we usually have at least one group, but because of funding we couldn’t do that. Overall, it didn’t matter, because we had such a great, positive response.”

Storyfest began in 1993, and again this year students from Switzerland County Elementary, Jefferson-Craig Elementary, as well as county home school students attended over the two-day event. Martha Bladen estimates that over 700 students and adults attended this year’s program.

Students in the first, second, and third grades participated on Thursday; while students in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades came on Friday.

The performances were held at three venues: the Historic Hoosier Theater; the Switzerland County Historical Museum, and the Switzerland County YMCA.

Master storyteller Deborah Asante shared original tales and traditional folktales from around the world with the students at the Switzerland County Museum. She specializing in stories from African and Blues cultures, and captivated the students with her tales and imagery.

At the Switzerland County YMCA, “Bubble Wonders” with Geoff Akins was a big hit, also. Geoff Akins shared with students about the science of making bubbles; intertwined with a variety of tricks and visual effects, from ice cream cones, volcanoes, and caterpillars; to dancing bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles and one student had the chance to run a pencil through a bubble without bursting it.

He also put a student inside a large bubble.

The Historic Hoosier Theater welcomed musician Les Gustafson-Zook to its stage for Storyfest. A performer featuring a wide range of musical instruments, he brought stories and music together, bringing the rich cultural heritage of America’s pioneers to life through traditional songs to the accompaniment of folk instruments.

The major funding source for Storyfest again this year was the United Fund of Switzerland County. Also assisting with the funding was the Kiwanis Club of Vevay.