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Storyfest boasts state awards but has business detractors
by Tim Delaney Progress Editor
Sep 28, 2012 | 1062 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mary Margaret Campbell, executive director of Storyfest, shows awards presented to the event and Campbell to George West Mayor Sylvia Steele at a city council meeting Monday, Sept. 17.
Mary Margaret Campbell, executive director of Storyfest, shows awards presented to the event and Campbell to George West Mayor Sylvia Steele at a city council meeting Monday, Sept. 17.
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GEORGE WEST — During citizen input at the George West City Council meeting Monday, Sept. 17, Storyfest Executive Director Mary Margaret Campbell informed the council of four awards the yearly event won, plus one she won.

Storyfest was awarded the recognition at a the Texas Festivals and Events Association conference, and Campbell was named the Carson Watts Professional of the Year.

Campbell reminded the council that this is the 24th Storyfest, and the event will be held during the first weekend of November.

She said some of the featured storytellers include Bernadette Nason from the East Coast, “Hank the Cowdog” creator John Erickson, and a car show, children’s corner and the Wetlands on Wheels from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi University will be on hand.

While Storyfest has enjoyed many years of success, some have a problem with the event.

“For 23 past years, it shut down businesses across and around the courthouse,” said business owner Rusty Williams.

Williams said he has rented his building for a private show on private property that weekend.

And he wants pedestrian access for 300 and 302 Houston Street.

Bruce Addison, who has rented the building, said he will have a kickoff of a Market Days idea going on in the building.

He called the idea of a Market Days in George West every four months a “terrific idea.”

He chose the first weekend of November, because it is the beginning of hunting season.

He has invited several artisans, including those who make handmade knives, handmade furniture, handmade clothes, pepper mills and wooden pens.

“The items sold at Storyfest won’t be as good as those sold at my showing,” Addison said.

“Can you leave a space in front of our business doors?” Williams asked.

Campbell said she would be willing to leave two spaces for those doors for pedestrian access, but she noted that means eliminating two eight-foot wide vendor booths.

“We don’t make any money off Storyfest,” Campbell said.

The purpose of Storyfest is to help nonprofits, she said.

“And for the record, we jury our vendors. We don’t have cheap stuff like (Addison) insinuated,” Campbell said.

Addison said, “The money raised goes straight to our 4-H kids.”

The council voted to approve closing the street for Storyfest. A letter will be sent to the Texas Department of Transportation notifying it of the closure.

The council also heard from Brannon Brooke with BBD Investments of Beeville.

Brooke said his company built apartment complexes in Beeville in January.

Now, the company is doing a survey of about 15 acres off Milam Street to determine space use.

He questioned what George West needed.

“We need housing for professional people, teachers, law enforcement and company executives,” said Mayor Sylvia Steele.

“I had talked to Ty Sparks at the school district, and he said ‘help us,’” Brooke said.

Brooke said one-bedrooms are in “high demand.”

And he noted that two-bedrooms are “very popular.”

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