Adirondack Family Fun: Adirondack Storytelling Festival

By Diane Chase

“What’s the difference between a lie and a tall tale?” asks Bill Smith. “You don’t get a lickin’ for telling a tall tale.” That is how the storyteller recounts his youth at last year’s Adirondack Storytelling Festival in Old Forge at the McCauley Mountain Chalet.

My son sits openmouthed while stories, yarns and tall tales range from Bill Smith’s folklore to author Joseph Bruchac’s Abenaki Indian heritage. The stage is set with a backdrop of a lean-to while storyteller after storyteller took the stage.

My kids have grown up on audio stories. No matter their age, they are still enthralled with the magic of stories. The opportunity to watch the Bruchac books that my children have borrowed from the library come to life and to meet the author is a bonus.

Adirondack nature walks and storytelling workshops, songs and craft centers were all around. One woman sits by her spinning wheel while a wood carver gave a brief lesson on whittling. The tone is casual and we have brought a picnic to share.

My youngest child takes a bit more breaks and is more enthusiastic for the children’s crafts located on the bottom level. There is plenty of glitter and pom-poms, need I say more?

This year the festival starts out with a nature walk with Joan Herrmann and leads to a storytelling workshop with Peggy Lynn and Dan Duggan. Joseph Bruchac will again be emcee throughout the event. He and his son Jesse are first on stage to demonstrate Abenaki traditions and tales. Fran Yardley will grace the schedule with her special brand of storytelling while Bill Smith brings humor to growing up in lumber camps. Peggy Lynn and Dan Duggan will wind up the event with storytelling through their music.

For us the time passes quickly as each presenter adds a different depth and richness to the event. We sit and listen to stories of the olden days (according to my daughter) and to picture books coming to life.

Adirondack Storytelling Festival will be held on July 24th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the McCauley Mountain Chalet in Old Forge. The fee is $5.00 for adults while children 16 and under are free. Food is available for purchase. For more information contact the Old Forge Library at 315-369-6008.

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