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Storytelling Capital of Texas Hosts 27th Annual Storyfest


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Mary Margaret Campbell, Executive Director                                                     August 6, 2015

George West Storyfest Association, Inc.



Storytelling Capital of Texas Hosts 27th Annual Storyfest

Since 1989, people have come from near and far on the first Saturday in November to celebrate the art and tradition of storytelling around the Live Oak County courthouse square in downtown George West, the Storytelling Capital of Texas.  On Saturday, November 7, George West Storyfest will celebrate twenty-seven consecutive years of presenting professional and local storytellers to audiences appreciative of listening to good stories.

            People who attend Storyfest not only enjoy the stories told by the traditional storytellers but also the stories told through music, history, and dance.  The Storyfest stage hosts live music from a variety of genres—country, gospel, blues, and Tejano, to name a few—as well as cloggers and other dance groups, alternating with the storytellers on three outdoor stages. 

            Featured storytellers for the 27th annual Storyfest are Appalachian storyteller Suzi Whaples, nationally-renowned storyteller Barbara McBride-Smith, and Texas funny man Larry Thompson.  The list of storytellers this year also includes Donna Ingham, who recently was recognized by the National Storytelling Network with an Oracle Award for Regional Excellence; British-born storyteller Bernadette Nason; and Choctaw Indian teller Tim Tingle; among others.  Musical entertainers include the award-winning Lonestar Bluegrass Band, the ever-popular 50’s and 60’s rock band Riptide, and Chano Cadena y Sus Conjunto; and others.  Cowboy Poet Lanny Joe Burnett and the Cowboy Music duo Miss Devon and the Outlaw will be among those taking part in the Johnny Campbell Cowboy Gathering.

On the courthouse lawn as this year’s Living History, Traylor Livery will exhibit and discuss life on the prairie while Gilbert Hernandez will tell the story of his ancestor, Tejano Santiago Tafolla, who lived an exciting life in the 1800’s.  Stories can be heard—and created—at the Classic Car Show, in the Children’s Area, and around the food and arts & crafts booths.  Of course, the tales spun during the Texas State Liars’ Contest© generate uproarious laughter from the audience.  This year visitors will also enjoy the latest Storyfest attraction:  a Motorcycle Show.

            And all of the entertainment during the day on Saturday is FREE!  Storyfest is a non-gated event, ensuring everyone the opportunity to experience performing arts and learn about history.  Local and area nonprofit groups provide food booths and children’s games as a means of fundraising for their particular groups.  Quality arts & crafts vendors rent space to sell their wares, just in time for some early Christmas shopping.

            After the Ghost Stories in the evening, The Tejas Brothers will take the stage at the Street Dance.  Admission to the dance this year is FREE!

            For those interested in physical fitness, we have a 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk early Saturday morning.

            Join us on Saturday, November 7, 2015, for the 27th annual George West Storyfest.  To learn more about George West Storyfest, visit the website at www.georgeweststoryfest.com and follow on Facebook. 

2016 TFEA Marketing Awards For George West Storyfest


Mary Margaret Campbell, Executive DirectorAugust 7, 2016

George West Storyfest Association, Inc.


George West Storyfest Brings Home Seven First Place Awards in Marketing Competition

By Mary Margaret Campbell

George West Storyfest Association brought home honors in the recent Zenith Award competition for excellence in event marketing and management awarded by the Texas Festivals & Events Association (TFEA).Storyfest, which competed with other events with a budget of under $75,000, took first place for Best Newspaper Insert (produced by Beeville Publishing Company), Best Miscellaneous Printed Materials (Bookmark produced by New Vistas Marketing), Best Outdoor Billboard (board produced by Lamar Outdoors), Best Single Magazine Display Ad (San Antonio Magazine, October 2015 issue), Best T-shirt Design (designed and produced by T.N.T Sports Designs), Best Other Merchandise (flip-out fan), and Best Sponsor (H-E-B Gulf Coast Region).

The TFEA Marketing Awards program recognizes excellence in marketing campaigns used to promote festivals and events. This competition recognizes the creativity and professionalism of the Texas festivals and events industry.More than 480 individual entries were received in this year’s competition, which is a record number.

In addition to the first-place awards, Storyfest also garnered three second-place awards for Best TV Promotion (produced by KRIS Communications), Best Organization Website, and Best New Merchandise (2015 koozie designed by Creative Printing & More) and two third-place awards for Best Other Merchandise (jar opener) and Best Social Media Site (Facebook page).

TFEA is a professional trade association for festival and event planners, volunteers and suppliers from across Texas.It is an official affiliate of the International Festivals & Events Association, the premier professional association supporting festival and event leaders worldwide.For more information about TFEA, visit www.tfea.org or find the association on Facebook.

Flo Moore Named 2016 Volunteer Of The Year


Mary Margaret Campbell, Executive DirectorAugust 2, 2016

George West Storyfest Association, Inc.



By Mary Margaret Campbell

Flo Moore was recently named “Volunteer of the Year” by the Texas Festivals and Events Association at the organization’s annual conference, held this year in Corpus Christi.Moore serves on the George West Storyfest Association, Inc. Board of Directors and manages the Sales & Information Booth at Storyfest.

Moore became involved with George West Storyfest in its inaugural year, 1989, as a volunteer.She organized the Sales & Information Booth that first year and developed a system to organize and sell the merchandise, a system still in use today.In 2006, Moore was elected to the Board of Directors and has served as secretary/treasurer, vice chairman, and chairman.Currently, she is the board treasurer.Moore has been a vital, active volunteer every single year of Storyfest.

The TFEA Professional Awards program recognizes the tireless service and exemplary commitment of the festival and event professionals and volunteers from across the state.These individuals are nominated by their peers, and nominations are open to all members of the organization. The contest was judged by a panel of past chairmen of TFEA who recognize the value of such professionals and volunteers to the festival and event industry.

As members of Region Three of the International Festivals and Events Association, Texas Festivals and Events Association members from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma receive benefits that include educational programs, newsletters and publications, internet resources at the IFEA website, insurance discounts, and the annual conference featuring professional awards, marketing and communication awards, a trade show and a talent showcase.

Storyfest Donated to Dobie/West Theatre


Mary Margaret Campbell, Executive DirectorJanuary 6, 2016

George West Storyfest

(361) 449-2841

Storyfest Donates to Dobie/West Theatre

Submitted by Mary Margaret Campbell

For the week of November 6-12, Texas Monthly selected Storyfest and Dobie Dichos, in particular, as one of the “Six Must-Attend Events.”In his November 4 editorial in the Beeville Bee-Picayune, Chip Latcham urged readers to attend Dobie Dichos: “If readers haven’t experienced this gathering, we would highly recommend it.”

On Friday evening, November 6, the grounds of the Historic Oakville Jail was the site of the 5th annual Dobie Dichos: Campfires, Chili con Carne, and the Words of J. Frank Dobie.Recommendations from the likes of Texas Monthly and Chip Latcham, along with the stellar lineup of program participants—as well as the now-famous Dobie Dichos chili and pan de campo—this year’s event drew the largest crowd to date.

Dobie Dichos began in 2011 as a means of celebrating the contributions to literature and folklore of Live Oak County’s most famous son, J. Frank Dobie.Event founders Bill Sibley and Mary Margaret Campbell determined that authors and storytellers whose writing and art had been influenced by Dobie would be invited to read or tell stories from the works of Dobie.Participants over the first five years have included, among others, Dobie biographer Steven L. Davis; authors Elizabeth Crook, John Phillip Santos, Bruce Shackelford; storytellers Donna Ingham, MaryAnn Blue, Larry Thompson; and Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla.

At the time of the event’s inception, the Dobie/West Theatre was still in the early phases of renovation, with a dedicated portion of the lobby to house a J. Frank Dobie Museum. Sibley and Campbell suggested to the Storyfest board of directors that proceeds from the new event could benefit the theatre’s renovation.Since the theatre would house a Dobie museum and was named, in part, for him, making a donation to the theatre from the event’s proceeds just made sense.Every year since 2011, Storyfest has made a donation to the theatre from the proceeds of the small, intimate yet unique event.

This year’s donation check was the largest to date, $1680.Storyfest board of directors Vice-Chairman Julie Kaase recently presented the check to theatre representative Mary Ann Pawlik, who was delighted with the amount.

In addition to Dobie’s popularity, the talented program participants, and the delicious meal, donations to the theatre have been possible thanks to sponsorship from Beeville Publishing Co. all five years and new sponsors in 2015 Venado Oil and Gas, LLC and Andrews Distributing; in-kind donations from Cody Campbell, Rodney Nance, Cactus Tools, LLC, Elder’s Country Market, and George West Storyfest Association, Inc.; the dedicated committee; and ticket sales.Albert and Mari Davila, owners of Historic Oakville Jail, graciously donate the use of the grounds for the event each year.

The 6th annual Dobie Dichos is slated for Friday, November 4, 2016.Tickets will go on sale in early September.

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