When the weather turns cold and dreary and the wind whips around every corner, then it's storytelling time.
And there's no better story place than the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival held annually the last weekend in January in Pike County, Alabama.
The festival traditionally features four of the top storytellers in the country. "If you can't go to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, then come to the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival in Pike County, Alabama."
The list of storytellers who have performed at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival reads like a who's who among storytellers - Sheila Kay Adams, Donald Davis, Carmen Deedy, Elizabeth Ellis, Michael Reo Harrell, Andy Offutt Irwin, Kevin Kling, Bil Lepp, Barbara McBride-Smith, Kathryn Tucker Windham, Suzi "Mama" Whaples, and regional tellers, B.J. Abraham, Aleta Davis, Brent Holmes and Shelia Jackson.
The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival features pre-show music by traditional musicians prior to each storytelling concert. So everyone is invited to come early and enjoy some of the best bluegrass, country and Southern gospel music your ears will ever hear.
The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival opens on Friday night with supper and stories at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge and moves eight miles up the road to the Trojan Center Theater on the campus of Troy University for three storytelling concerts on Saturday.
My wife had to drag me to the first Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival. Now, wild horses couldn't drag me away. There's nowhere in the world I would rather be on the last weekend in January than at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival.
The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival is sponsored by the Brundidge Historical Society and the Alabama State Council on the Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.