A dozen Rome youngsters displayed amazing creativity and poise on the stage at the City Auditorium on Saturday. The kids from local schools all stood before a large crowd and spun stories of their own creation in front of several hundred folks, many of them family and friends, without a significant stumble from any of them.
Judges for the Debby Brown Young Tales Storytelling competition took over half-an-hour to
hammer out a decision before awarding top honors to Olivia Campbell of the Berry College Elementary and Middle School. Second place went to Bo Bushnell, also from the Berry school, and third place went to Alyssa Austin of West Central Elementary School.
Campbell spun a tale about rescuing Hollywood idol Zac Efron who got stuck in a toilet seat. Bushnell spoke about ski trips to Breckenridge, Colorado, and an adventure at the Imperial Bowl, one of the highest spots in the Rockies, while Austin told the tale of a mama mouse who learned to bark like a dog to ward off a cat when it came time to feed her three small mice.
Other finalists in the competition included Olivia Casey from Armuchee Elementary School, Ansley Combes from the Montessori School of Rome, Jackson Craig from St. Mary’s Catholic School, Bailey Estes from Johnson Elementary, Cylen Ford from Model Elementary, Malajah Logan from Anna K. Davie Elementary, Takiera Hall representing the Boys & Girls Club, Kaylee Gandy from West End Elementary and Jocelyn Fabien from West Central Elementary.
The judges for the competition included Hannah Cook, executive director of the Rome Little Theatre, Tony Pope a retired educator and Deborah Lewis, a local author and church pre-school director.
The Young Tales Storytelling event was part of the annual Big Fibbers Festival which continues today with Sacred Tellings from Bil Lepp and Andy Offut Irwin at both the 8:30 and 11 a.m. services at Trinity United Methodist Church.
Lepp, from Charleston, West Virginia, and Irwin, from Covington, have been the featured tellers at the event this year.