GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY: Coterie plans 50th Storybook Festival, 5K run Saturday, May 6

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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The Andalusia Coterie Club will mark a historical milestone with its 50th Annual Storybook Festival and 20th Annual Coterie Run for Kids on Saturday, May 6.

The Storybook Festival at Springdale is free to attend. Gates will open at 1 p.m. before the event begins at 2 p.m. Participants are asked to dress as their favorite Golden Book character for the race.

“The Storybook Festival has been a cherished tradition in our community and has provided countless opportunities for families and children to explore literature and engage in interactive activities. The festival has been an integral part of our community’s growth and has played a significant role in promoting literacy among children in our area,” Coterie President Destiny Smith said. “It is amazing to reach such a historical milestone,” Vice President Mellisa King added.

Registration for the 5K run will be on the front lawn of City Hall beginning at 7 a.m. Open to all ages, the 5K begins at 8 a.m. with a $25 cost through Friday, May 5, and $30 on race day. A Meredith’s Mile Run/Walk for ages 3-12 begins at 9 a.m. and is $15. A free Tot Trot for ages 0-4 starts at 9:30 a.m. prior to an awards presentation at 10 a.m.

Race applications are located at Dairy Queen, Andalusia Health and Fitness, Daisy Cleaners, Walmart Pharmacy, Bailey’s Pharmacy, Darby’s Village Pharmacy, SanBuck Insurance, USA Gym, CCB Bank, and Southeast Gas. T-shirts ranging in size from youth small to 2XL will be available for $25 and $15 for Tot Trot participants.

All proceeds from the Coterie Run will be distributed to the county.

“We are taking scholarship applications for high school seniors who will be going into a field of study that will benefit children. We have given as many as 12 $250 cash scholarships. We also just put up the Little Library at the Miracle Field as a way to give back to our community and our children. Reading is such an important part of children’s lives,” King said.

Both women expressed gratitude for their involvement with the Storybook Festival.

“This event represents the values that I hold dear, such as education, community, and family. As a civic leader, it is my responsibility to ensure that our community has access to events and activities that promote growth and development, and the Storybook Festival is one of those events,” Smith said.

“I love to see all the children’s faces when the stories are acted out. They get so excited and love it,” King stated.

The Storybook Festival has impacted the community for several years.

“I am excited to see the Coterie Club celebrate this momentous occasion with the help of local drama clubs, PBS/APT, and The Pied Pipers,” Smith said. “We all love our town and want to give back to keep everyone loving it as much as possible,” King added.

Meredith’s Miracles will provide surprise visitors Mickey and Minnie. Grit and Grind Coffee and Smash Mouth Foods will be on location with water and juice bottles, popcorn, and sugar cookies also available for purchase. Children can participate in craft activities and receive glitter tattoos for free.

The Storybook Festival has been successful for many years because of a joint effort.

“This is a free event, so everyone loves to come out and watch the stories. A lot of hard work and planning goes into this event each year. We would love to thank Destiny Smith and Kelly for all their hard work on the Storybook Festival. Debbie Maraman and I have put the race together. Our club is a great team, and we look forward to sharing these wonderful events with our community,” King said.

This year’s thank you sponsors are as follows: Beacon of Hope ABA, Southeast Gas, PowerSouth, CCB Community Bank, Covington Electric Co-op, Rabren, Odom, Pierce & Hayes, P.C., Zaxby’s, Gitty Up-N-Go, John and Faye Vick, Splash Hopper Express Wash, Balanced Family Healthcare, Three Notch Orthodontics, Murphy & Murphy Attorneys, P.C., Moore and Moore Tires, Lena Ellen Boutique, Hammett Drilling Company, Carolina Millwork and Truss, Walker Electric, Harper Electric Construction Company, South Central Medical Center, Covington Obstetrics & Gynecology, Blue Bird Coffee Company, Quality Inn, Splash Hopper Express Wash, Bailey’s Pharmacy, Andalusia Tire Company, Darby’s Village Pharmacy, Sharyn Smith State Farm, O’Neal Agency, Earl Johnson, Attorney, Foreman-Brown Funeral Home, Ron Nall State Farm, Roger’s Refrigeration, First South Farm Credit, Davis & Associates, Spurlin Accounting, Andalusia Dental Group, Guardian Angel Christian Daycare and Academy, Bass Agency Real Estate, Blackston Quality Eye Care, Tillman Family Eye Care, Covington Casket, Casey Propane, White, McClung & Barber LLC, Walmart Andalusia, David’s Catfish, SanBuck Insurance, and Covington Pediatrics, P.C.

Sponsored by the Parnassus Club, the Coterie Club was formed in October 1948. It gives back to organizations such as Andalusia City Schools, Covington County Schools, Distinguished Young Women, Meredith’s Miracles, Community Christmas, the Covington County Child Advocacy Center, Covington Arts Council, South Alabama Mental Health, and senior scholarships.

“The Storybook Festival has been a beloved tradition that has fostered a love for literature in our community for 50 years. I am honored to be a part of this event and look forward to celebrating this significant milestone with my fellow community members,” Smith said.

For more information call Mellisa King at 334-504-1469.