PICKENS — This year marks the 16th anniversary of the Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival when the hills and hollers around the Hagood Mill Historic Site in Pickens come alive with storytellers sharing the weird and wonderful, mountain funnies, memories of yesteryear, and tales of mystical places in Appalachia.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 21.
The host is author and storyteller Johnny Thomas Fowler, a veteran showman guaranteed to delight listeners with his music, folklore, and a big helping of incredible stories to share with each and every one.
One of the featured performers Oct. 21 will be storyteller and award-winning street busker Abby the Spoon Lady from Asheville, N.C. Abby has gained fame on the national stage, being recognized as one of the top street buskers in America.
Known for her extraordinary gift of wielding ordinary tablespoons, she creates the “clickity-clack” percussion beats and rhythms that have become part of the heart and soul of the ever-evolving culture in Asheville. Abby creates street art of the highest form.
Other “tellers” taking the stage Oct. 21 include the “Princess of Possum Corner,” Millie Chaplin, from Harleyville and Vixi Jil Glenn, the “Good Fairy” of Asheville, N.C.
Chaplin has always loved the spoken word. When she started telling stories she realized that fairy tales and folklore were the stories she loved the best. She got her name — “Princess of Possum Corner” — from the place she grew up in the Lowcountry.
The stories there are as plentiful as the possums. Some of her venues include Stone Soup, Newberry Opera House, Belton Museum Tradition Days, and Spoleto Children’s Festival.
Glenn’s family was one of the early pioneer families to settle in the region in the late 1700s. She is a Telling Member of the Jonesborough Storytelling Guild and past vice president of the Asheville Storytelling Circle.
She is a master teller of “Jack Tales,” learning first hand from Ted Hicks, a son of renowned Appalachian storyteller Ray Hicks of Banner Elk, N.C. She has shared the stage with David Novak, Connie Regan Blake, and Michael Reno Harrell, as well as many other national storytellers.
A new feature in this year’s event is the “Liars Competition.” Eight talented wordsmiths will have seven minutes each to tell their best, their boldest, their funniest and most outlandish lies.
Contestants will battle it out for the title of the “Biggest Liar in South Carolina.” First, second, and third place contestants will receive cash prizes provided by David Joe Miller Presents, Stone Soup Storytelling Festival, and Hairytoe Productions.
To pre-register for this competition call Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 or email BillyC@Co.Pickens.sc.us.
Hagood Mill is located at 138 Hagood Mill Road. Parking is $5 but admission is free.