Southside Storyteller Festival, October 28

by Carla Perkins, Avondale Regional Branch Library

“Once upon a time, in a land far in the heart of Birmingham, stood Five Points Southside.” 

On Saturday, October 28, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m., the Five Points Alliance, The J. Clyde, and Orbit Salon will celebrate 130 years of the Five Points district by hosting the inaugural Southside Storyteller Festival. The festival will be a celebration centered around The Storyteller fountain created by Frank Fleming, with the stage located at the Highlands United Methodist Church.

Spoken word performances and storytelling at the fountain will be performed by local talented groups such as Real Life Poets, Inc., The Sister City Connection Spoken Word Collection, Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for High School Students, University of Alabama at BirminghamGreen Bucket Press, Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series, and more.

The Storyteller fountain by Frank Fleming, 1992
Photo: The Encyclopedia of Alabama

The Five Points Star singer/songwriter contest will be an online and day-of-the-festival competition with the various Birmingham contestants performing during the event at open mics throughout Southside's amazing restaurants and bars, and also on stage. The winner will be crowned as the #FivePointsStar. The Storyteller Brew will be served at various venues and you can receive an extra vote in the #FivePointsStar for every purchase of the J. Clyde Southside brew.

The children’s area, located in the patio at the Highlands Methodist Church, will showcase one of the Birmingham Public Library’s own storytellers, Eve Parker. Parker, lovingly known as “Mrs. Eve,” has been a storyteller with the Birmingham Public Library system for almost 20 years. Her love for the oral tradition of storytelling is truly a gift to all who listen. In addition to sharing stories, the library will host an information table and provide a craft activity for the children. Please be sure to drop by our table and say hello; we look forward to seeing you!

 Mrs. Eve is a storyteller for the Birmingham Public Library system, and
 also teaches ukulele classes at the Avondale Library.

Five Points South is one of Birmingham’s first streetcar suburbs. The area was settled and incorporated as the Town of Highland on May 14, 1887. The Elyton Land Company established a streetcar line that connected Highland with downtown. In 1893 the Town of Highland became part of the City of Birmingham. At the Five Points Circle, where streetcar lines from downtown intersected those from Highland Avenue and other Southside residential areas, a neighborhood hub and shopping district grew.

The Five Points Circle, 1910
  Source/Photo: BhamWiki

From the singers, poets, and storytellers, to the crafts, good food, and beautiful architecture, the Five Points South district is the place for all ages to be this Saturday!