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    Storytelling Festival & Liar’s Competition

    October 16, 2021@10:00 am-4:00 pm

    $5 – $10

    Each October, the hills and hollers around the Hagood Mill Historic Site in Pickens, South Carolina, come alive with storytellers sharing the weird and wonderful, mountain funnies, memories of yesteryear, and tales of mystical places in Appalachia. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival and Liar’s Competition on Saturday, October 16, 2021. 

    We are going to start storytelling early this year with a Youth Storytelling Contest.  See the graphic below to see contest details.  Submissions are due October 9 with the winner earning $25 and the chance to share their story at the festival.

    We will kick off the weekend’s event on Friday, October 15th with Friday Night Frights & Ghost Stories.  Our host this year is author and storyteller Johnny Thomas FowlerThis veteran showman is guaranteed to delight listeners with his music, folklore, and a big helping of spooky stories to share with each and every one at the Historic Stage from 6:00-8:00 pm.  Johnny Thomas is one of seventeen national storytellers captured in the book Southern Appalachian Storytellers (McFarland Press). In 2013 John was honored to receive the prestigious Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, the highest award given to folk artists in South Carolina. He co-hosts a weekly old-time radio show on North Carolina public radio station WNCW-FM.  Mr. Fowler will be accompanied by other storytelling aficionados, Lona Bartlett and Derrick Phillips.  We are proud to offer an ALS interpreter for the deaf both Friday night and Saturday.  Admission to Friday night is $10 per person.  Scary Stories will be shared at the Heritage Pavilion in case of rain.  Due to the graphic and horrifying nature of certain stories parental guidance is suggested.

    Saturday’s event will also be hosted by Johnny Thomas Fowler.  Along with John, we will have  Doug Elliott, Josh Goforth, Lona Bartlett, Steven James, and Derrick Phillips sharing stories from 10 am – 4 pm on the historic side of the site, with an interlude midday for the Liar’s Competition, where amateur storytellers will compete for the title of Best Liar.   We will have our usual third Saturday activities such as the operation of the Historic Hagood Mill, traditional craft demonstrations such as blacksmithing, chair caning, weaving, spoon carving, and moonshining.  We will also have a select group of artisans vending their wares. 

    Admission to Saturday’s event is $5 per person aged 13 and up.  Children 12 and under are admitted for free and there is no charge for parking.