Grab the Family for the Community Table: Storytelling & Local Food Festival

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Grab the Family for the Community Table: Storytelling & Local Food Festival

Food and stories bring people together. For hundreds of years, oral storytelling of myths, legends, and folk tales was a main form of entertainment. Whether sitting around a campfire or at the dinner table, these stories were, and still are, one important way people connect to one another. It connects generations and cultures. 

While there won’t be a campfire, professional storytellers from across the country will be inside and outside Franklin Avenue Library, 5000 Franklin Ave., on Saturday, October 14 for the Des Moines Public Library’s second annual Community Table: Storytelling & Local Food Festival.

Here is what to expect when you arrive with your family:

The event kicks off inside the Franklin Avenue Library meeting room with Pamanamian-Columbian duo Calle Sur. Be ready to dance and sing as they share songs and traditional stories from Mexico, Costa Rica, and Brazil during this bilingual, interactive program for kids and families.

Afterward, stop outside the library at Franklin Field for a number of fun children’s activities from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM, including carnival games, early literacy activities, face painting with Queen Bee, and a special outdoor storytime with Rosie, the library mascot, at noon.

Grab lunch at one of the food trucks and local food vendors (bring your own chairs and blankets if you want to eat outside!) as you walk back to the library for the 12:30 PM storytelling session, Around the Table: Folk and Personal Food Tales, geared to teens and adults. Food brings people together and inspires stories, so storytellers Darrin Crow, and Toni Simmons, will share delicious stories.

At 2 PM, Crow, Janice Del Negro, and Zulu will share their versions of beloved folk and fairytales at Folk and Fairytales Retold, for teens and adults. Spoiler alert: These are NOT the Disney versions.

At 3:30 PM, headlining storyteller Toni Simmons, who was once designated an American Masterpiece by the National Endowment for the Arts, will share multicultural folktales in her Stories Alive! session. This interactive session is for all ages and will include rhythms, songs, and chants. Prepare to take part in the fun yourself!

Grab another snack and end your day in Franklin Field with Spooky Stories from Janice Del Negro, with an introduction by Maureen Korte. A kids-friendly session starts at 5:30 PM, and a teens and adult session starts at 6 PM.

For full details, go to!

Author: Des Moines Public Library

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