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The Daily Tar Heel

Local Market Hosts Night of Storytelling

People of all ages gathered to hear Tim Stambaugh and the Fiends play music and hear nationally renowned storyteller Milbre Burch tell "tales both merry and scary," but the majority of the crowd consisted of children dressed in creative costumes.

At 6:30 p.m., Burch began telling stories on a stage littered with hay bales and pumpkin lights while the band added touches of percussion in the background.

One of the children in the crowd was Tyler Tulanian of Durham, who came dressed as a jack-in-the-box with his mom, Shayna.

"We saw this advertised in the paper and decided to come," Shayna said. "We didn't know (Milbre Burch) was going to be here, but now we're really glad we came."

Later on, the Tulanians had another reason to be glad they came, as Tyler won the most original category for children 5 and under in the costume contest.

Many of the people gathered around the stage said they came because it was a great opportunity for their children to have fun in a safe environment.

Tony Blanford of Carrboro brought his daughter and two sons to the event for the first time after reading about it in the paper.

"It's unique, and it builds community," Blanford said. "We just moved here from Indiana, and we didn't have anything like this at home."

Although the event was primarily attended by children, adults without children could appreciate the appeal of the Halloween festivities, too. Allison Kieber, a three-year veteran of the event, brought her friend Rachel Rugliese this year to enjoy the stories.

"We love to see the costumes, and Burch is wonderful," Kieber said. "It's nice for the kids to be able to run around, too."

Most of the children in attendance were in costume and ready to win the contest that took place between the story sets.

James Watts, the Weaver Street Market store manager, and Emily Beuhler, who works in the bread bakery, judged the costume contest. The judges for the contest were labeled with signs that designated them as "Da Judge" and "Da Other Judge."

"There's three categories, two age groups and lots and lots of kids," Watts said. "We've done this event for years, and it's one of the most fun events we do."

The ghost stories have been a part of Halloween in Carrboro for 10 years, but Burch is a newcomer to the fun at Weaver Street Market.

Burch has been the featured storyteller for two years, ever since her family moved to Carrboro.

"I moved here two years ago from California with my UNC graduate student husband, but I'm actually a graduate of Duke University," she said.

Burch said the appeal of the event is that there is something for everyone.

"There are creepy stories for those who like them, but those who don't are glad to know there are other stories too."

The City Editor can be reached at

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