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In the beauty of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, located in historic Jonesborough, Tennessee, the National Storytelling Festival takes place the first full weekend in October as it has every year since 1973. The festival features storytellers from all walks of life, and the stage at Jonesborough is home to famous storytellers such as Andy Offutt Irwin and Kathryn Tucker Windham. For more information about the festival, please call 1-800-952-8392 or visit the website athttp://www.storytellingcenter.net/festival/.
The National Storytelling Festival has occurred in Jonesborough, Tennessee during the month of October every year since 1973. The first festival began when 60 people gathered around the Courthouse Square to hear a few Appalachian tall-tales. The audience has grown to 10,000 listeners in the decades since and now features storytellers from North America. According to the Los Angeles Times, “What New Orleans is to jazz, Jonesborough is to storytelling.”
The Festival features old favorites such as Willy Claflin and Donald Davis telling traditional stories from many different cultures. The Festival is also excited to announce new voices such as Spencer Bohren and Megan Hicks both from the Western United States. Due to the October date, the Festival features exciting events such as the popular Midnight Cabaret, and the Ghost Story Concerts, which features frightening tales and lore told beneath the nighttime sky. These stories are often spine tingling legends centered around the area, and in the open night air, the feature storytellers makes this event a favorite to the festival. Guests can also participate in the Swappin’ Ground, a festival tradition where anyone and everyone can tell stories and tales of their own. Many of this year’s storytellers came from the humble beginnings of the Swappin’ Ground and they encourage young people to continue on the tradition by telling tales and trading laughs.