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The Storytelling Guild is a group of volunteers dedicated to serving the community by providing opportunities for children to be exposed to the magic of books and the joy of reading.
The Storytelling Guild and the Jackson County Library Services launched the first Children’s Festival in 1967. The Festival began as a small storytelling program, billed as: "A Child’s Fun 'N Fantasy Afternoon", which was to be held under the trees at Britt Gardens in Jacksonville, Oregon. The turnout for this one-day event was so tremendous, 200 children, that it was repeated the next day for another 300 children!
It was apparent that this was an important program and plans were readied for a true Festival in 1968. The Storytelling Guild and the Jackson County Library began planning by recruiting volunteers from the mothers who attended the first Festival. Sixteen volunteers and the local chapter of the American Association of University Women planned for that second year.
The second festival drew 2,000 children. The third, 4000 and by 1981, the Children’s Festival was attracting 15,000 visitors! (At that time the Jackson County’s Parks and Recreation program was busing in children from recreation sites throughout the county.) Today the average attendance, over the course of three days, is between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors.
Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Currently, it takes about 2,000 dedicated and supportive community members to make the Children’s Festival a success. We also are fortunate enough to have a variety of local donors who graciously donate funds to improve and maintain our booths and materials.