As of this June, Abilene has been named the official “Storybook Capital of Texas.”
Sidney Levesque, marketing director at Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, said the council was proud to receive the honor.
“We felt we had a strong case for this designation that set us apart from any city in the state for three reasons,” said Levesque.
A big factor in Abilene winning this title is that it is home to the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL), which is one of only two of it’s kind in America.
Another reason, said Levesque, is the Cultural Affairs Council putting on the Children’s Art and Literacy Festival (CALF) every June.
“This includes all of our downtown art groups and is growing each year. Last year we had nearly 4,000 people come,” Levesque said.
She said the third reason is why Abilene was named the “Storybook Capital of Texas” is because it is home to a growing collection called the “Storybook Sculpture Project.”
Abilene has 17 outdoor sculptures thus far, and every year during the CALF festival a new round of sculptures are decided on.
For anyone interested in finding the sculptures around the city, many local businesses and museums downtown have an adventure guide handout that lists facts about the sculptures with a picture beside them. At the end of the handout, it details the community festivals that are put on by the NCCIL and CALF. Recently an app was created with games for finding the sculptures, along with trivia.
Many local businesses are in support of the city’s new title.
Payton, a cashier at Chocolate Candies by Vletas, said it was a positive title that is helped by having families and children downtown looking at the sculptures.
“Having a sculpture outside that the kids can actually interact with by climbing on the bicycle with the duck, I love hearing the kids laughter, and of course, always getting their parents to bring them in our candy store afterwards,” Payton said.