—by Todd Thorson

The 8th Annual Story! Festival begins this Thursday, Sept. 19, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 22. There are plenty of events planned for those who love "a good story", from the childhood fun and magic of the Eulenspiegel Puppets to historic recollections, as presented by none other than "Abraham Lincoln". As part of the weekend itinerary, many of the storytellers will also be visiting the Roland-Story schools on Thursday and Friday during the day.

The festival kicks off Thursday night when the Oscar winning film Lincoln will be presented at the historic Story Theater at 7 p.m. Admission is free and the movie is being sponsored by the Story Telling Committee. (An encore of the film is also scheduled for Friday night at 7 p.m.)

Tying in with the Lincoln movie, Lance Mack will be making his first appearance at this year’s Story Telling Festival, impersonating the 16th President at the Friday night "Dinner and a Story" event, which will be held at the Community Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. Also joining Mack Friday night will be the Eulenspiegel Puppets (see story below). Later, following the dinner, Haunted Carousel Stories will unfold at 9 p.m. at the historic antique carousel, led by returning storytellers Michael Cotter and Bev Jackson.

Saturday will feature various Story Stops, a storytelling tradition, as they unfold in the downtown area, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing through the noon hour. The Story Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. just north of Broad Street on Penn Avenue, where various vendors and crafters will be selling their wares. Dan Wardell of IPTV fame will also be on hand at the Bertha Bartlett Public Library at 10:30 a.m., and Mack will once again present his Lincoln stories at the Sheldall school house beginning at 1 p.m.

The Eulenspiegel Puppet Troupe will continue their magic at a workshop scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the library. Story Teller Stephen Trafton, another newcomer to the festival, will present the inspirational "Living Letters" of Apostle Paul, featuring the book of Phillippians at 3:30 p.m. at the Story Theater. Mack and the puppet troupe will perform once again at 7 p.m. at the Story Theater as well. Trafton then closes out this year’s festival on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church with his presentation of Colossians.

The festival committee would also like to report that Pippa White and Kevin Kling will be returning to the 2014 Story! Festival. And with the unfortunate passing of "Founding Father" Dick Layman recently, Michael Cotter will present a special remembrance and tribute of Dick at the beginning of the 3:30 show at the Story Theater on Saturday.

For tickets and more information (some of the events are free, but others do require paid admission) contact the Story City Chamber at 733-4214 or visit the Story Telling Facebook page at www.facebook.com/StoryFestivalSC.