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August 06, 2009

Storyfest celebrates 4-H centennial in Henderson County

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A winged storyteller entertains during Henderson County's Do-Tell Storyfest in July. (Photo by Tracie Wallace)

The deep booming voice that led the crowd singing “Happy Birthday” to 4-H at the Do-Tell Storyfest on July 11 belonged to former Extension 4-H Agent Earl Smith. Many 4-H alumni came to the celebration of 100 years of 4-H in North Carolina with one goal in mind: To see Earl Smith, Henderson County 4-H agent from 1957 through 1977, who continued to work as the ornamentals, small fruits, turf and forestry agent until 1985.

The Do-Tell Storyfest, which attracted 500 people, celebrated 4-H’s centennial in 2009. The event attracted professional storytellers, authors, musicians, poets and performers enchanted audiences to downtown shops and the historic county courthouse.

4-H’ers also demonstrated poultry judging, weaving and showed baby chicks. 4-H clubs provided cupcakes and punch for the birthday celebration. Dickens the Clown entertained the crowd with a juggling performance. Visitors to Mountain Lore Bookstore enjoyed reading to dogs provided by 4-H members.

Highlights of the 4-H displays inside the historic courthouse included photos of the first 4-H camps at the Biltmore Estate in 1919, a calf show in downtown Hendersonville in the 1930s, Fashion Revue winners in the 1940s, and Jim Barnette giving Earl Smith a “chain pig” for 4-H’ers in the 1960s. 4-H members also demonstrated their public speaking skills by giving presentations: planned speeches with props and posters.

4-H alumnus Jim Clark of N.C. State University taught a workshop on “Collecting Personal Stories.” The Do-Tell Storyfest was directed by 4-H alumna Karen-Eve Bayne. Mark your calendars now for the Do-Tell Storyfest on July 10, 2010.

-D. Sherrill

Posted by Natalie at August 6, 2009 11:01 AM