The University of Louisville and the International Order of E.A.R.S. will present the Corn Island Storytelling Festival Friday, Oct. 11, in the Humanities Quadrangle between Ekstrom Library and Bingham Humanities Building. Several of the region’s top storytellers — including Oracle Award winner Mary Hamilton; renowned storyteller, writer and media personality Bob Hill; Appalachian storyteller Octavia Sexton; Louisville-based Phillip Cherry; and Col. Bob Thompson and John Gage, stars of WFPK’s “Kentucky Homefront,” will share tall tales and ghost tales beginning at 7 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Stories are appropriate for all ages.
The evening will begin with kids’ activities such as pumpkin painting and other arts and crafts hosted by the UofL Students Activities Board from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sodexo will sell coffee, hot chocolate, cider and other drinks and treats on site.
Named after Louisville’s first settlement, the Corn Island Storytelling Festival was a nationally known autumn fixture that drew thousands of fans for three decades before ending its run in 2007. Its ghost story nights were particularly popular, filling Long Run Cemetery and other locations for sometimes scary, often funny tales from the grave.
UofL and the Corn Island organizers last year joined forces to revive the event, which according to fest master of ceremonies Bob Thompson will feature folktales, scary stories and some outright lies. It is funded by E.A.R.S. with support from the UofL Student Activities Board, Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences and University Libraries/Oral History Project; Caufield’s Novelty Inc.; WFPK-FM; Kentucky Homefront and Sodexo.
Patrons should bring lawn chairs or blankets, flashlights and their imaginations.