The storytelling festival is over. The storytellers have packed up their bags, the festival Headquarters has tallied up ticket sales and the tents have been stored for next year. It’s a sad day when you tear down the fan map of the United States, its geologic surface littered with tiny pins denoting fans hailing from Kentucky, Wisconsin, Alabama and Tennessee, who have now left Cape to return to their homes, hopefully, to return to the festival again next year. Sigh. Months of planning, a burst of busy in-coming travel, the excited energy of the town and the weekend is now—over.
And, now that it’s over. It’s hard to describe just what made this year great—what made this year’s storytelling festival stand out. Was it the gorgeous (and I mean GORGEOUS) weather? Check. Was it the amazing performances by the tellers? Check. Was it the seamless organization and the run-without-a-hitch performances? Check. Was it the ability for festival goers to record their own stories onto CDs? Check. Was it the Swapping Ground where amateur tellers could tell tales? Check. Was it the ambiance and scenic vistas of the Mississippi River? Check. Was it the kettle corn? (Oh, yeah!) Check. Was it the chance to feel like a part of a community and town that has its own stories to tell? Check and double check.
As I reflect over the memories throughout the weekend, I wonder just what remnants of the festival will tell its tale the best. There are a zillion pictures taken by staff, volunteers and media outlets to consider. There’s the Southeast Missourian web portal, with stories, a photo gallery, and information. There’s the news clips from KFVS television, radio and TV interviews with tellers, autographed programs and Facebook page comments left by staff and fans.
Then there’s the LIVE Twitter feed, a diary of sorts for Twitter users detailing the festival play by play in 140 characters or less:
7:01pm, Apr 10 from UberTwitter LIVE: Anticipation mounts for the evening Olio.
7:03pm, Apr 10 from UberTwitter LIVE: Syd Lieberman takes the stage.
7:24pm, Apr 10 from UberTwitter LIVE: Syd’s biological clock ticks. Will his daughter have a baby yet?
7:31pm, Apr 10 from UberTwitter LIVE: Syd becomes a grandpa. @santheo tells more of the tale on themakingofafamily blog.
7:33pm, Apr 10 from UberTwitter LIVE: @mintonsparks takes the stage.
7:39pm, Apr 10 from UberTwitter LIVE: that Joe Jackson can tell a story with his guitar! @mintonsparks Click for Twitter Photo.
7:48pm, Apr 10 from UberTwitter LIVE: hearts in throat like tears caught on cheekbones during “when you comin home” @mintonsparks
7:54pm, Apr 10 from UberTwitter LIVE: I clapped my hands off. Thank you @mintonsparks
8:07pm, Apr 10 from UberTwitter LIVE: intemission at olio Click for Twitter photo.
But, maybe nothing says it better than one of the last LIVE Tweets:
10:32 am, Apr 11 from UberTwitter LIVE: divine revelation. @mintonsparks telling story after story. Wish she could stay on stage forever. #storytelling Click for Twitter photo.
So, maybe electronic remnants can’t do the experience of storytelling justice. The beauty of the storytelling festival is the chance to sit back and enjoy great entertainment in a come-as-you-are environment. Sure, no shirt, no shoes—no ticket. But, if you want to sit in your chair and have a laugh in bunny slippers and old sweats, no one’s going to look askance. If you want to bring a jug of home-brewed iced tea and sip it silently while listening to classic stories of family struggles that triumph over adversity—then be our guest. Sit back, unwind, and enjoy five-star entertainment. It’s hard to beat the simplicity of that. Unless, maybe you boot up the computer, throw on a pot of coffee, kick your feet up in a chair and tune into a LIVE Twitter feed near you.
12:05 AM Apr 11th via mobile web @amandabynes twitter is currently my favorite source of entertainment.
Capewoman, AKA Stephanie Lynch, is the Director of PR and Marketing for the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a syndicated blogger on VisitMOBistro.com. Read her blog at http://www.semissourian.com/capeCVB.