Keller Festival

Keller (Helen) Festival

Last weekend in June
A three-day festival in Tuscumbia, Ala., to honor Helen Keller and her remarkable life. Born in Tuscumbia in 1880, she was left blind, deaf, and mute by illness at the age of 19 months. After Helen's parents appealed to Alexander Graham Bell for help in educating the child, 20-year-old Anne Mansfield Sullivan, partially blind and a graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, arrived and taught the child by pressing objects and a manual alphabet into Helen's palm. Helen learned to read and write and later graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College. She became widely known for her writings, and toured the world to promote opportunities for other blind and deaf persons. Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) was so moved by her spirit that he likened Miss Keller to St. Joan of Arc.
Festival events include art exhibits, stage shows, musical entertainment, sports tournaments, a parade, and historic tours. At Miss Keller's birthplace, Ivy Green, visitors can see the pump at which Helen learned her first word, "water." The house contains a library of Braille books, a Braille typewriter, and other mementos.
The Miracle Worker, the play by William Gibson about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, has been presented since 1962 on Friday and Saturday nights in late June and July on the grounds of Ivy Green. The play opened in New York in 1959, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960, and was made into a movie in 1962.
Colbert County Tourism & Convention Bureau
719 U.S. Hwy. 72 W.
P.O. Box 740425
Tuscumbia, AL 35674
800-344-0783 or 256-383-0783
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.