Elsinore Carver

Written by Elsinore Carver

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Artsandculture.google.com

The National Storytelling Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events for storytelling enthusiasts around the world. This annual gathering celebrates the art of storytelling and brings together storytellers, listeners, and seekers of the spoken word. Held in the charming town of Jonesborough, Tennessee, the festival has a rich history that spans over four decades. With its enchanting atmosphere and captivating narratives, the National Storytelling Festival has become synonymous with preserving and promoting the tradition of oral storytelling.In this article, we will explore 12 fascinating facts about the National Storytelling Festival that will give you an inside look into this captivating event. From the origins of the festival to the lineup of renowned storytellers and the diverse range of stories shared, we will delve into the heart and soul of this cherished celebration of storytelling. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be transported to a world filled with imagination, wonder, and the power of the spoken word!

Key Takeaways:

  • The National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee brings together storytellers from around the world to share diverse tales and celebrate the power of storytelling to connect people.
  • The festival offers workshops, competitions, and educational programs for children, highlighting the cultural heritage of storytelling and promoting the preservation of oral traditions.
Table of Contents

The National Storytelling Festival is held annually in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Every year, thousands of people flock to the historic town of Jonesborough to attend the renowned National Storytelling Festival. It is a three-day event dedicated to the art of storytelling and has been captivating audiences for over four decades.

The festival was first organized in 1973 by a group of passionate storytellers.

A small group of dedicated individuals came together with the vision of preserving and celebrating the oral tradition of storytelling. Their efforts gave birth to the National Storytelling Festival, which has since grown into one of the most prestigious storytelling events in the world.

It features both national and international storytellers.

The festival attracts storytellers from all corners of the globe, showcasing a diverse range of storytelling styles and traditions. Audiences have the opportunity to experience tales from different cultures and perspectives, creating a rich and immersive storytelling experience.

The festival takes place in various locations throughout Jonesborough.

With multiple stages and venues spread across the charming town, attendees can explore different storytelling performances happening simultaneously. From intimate tent settings to large outdoor stages, there is always something captivating happening at every corner.

The festival celebrates the power of storytelling to connect people.

Storytelling has a unique ability to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers, bringing people together through shared experiences. The National Storytelling Festival serves as a platform for fostering understanding, empathy, and community bonding through the art of storytelling.

A wide range of storytelling genres is represented at the festival.

From folk tales and myths to personal narratives and historical accounts, the festival offers a diverse array of storytelling genres. Whether you prefer tales of adventure, humor, or reflection, there is something to suit every storytelling enthusiast.

The festival attracts renowned storytellers from all walks of life.

Over the years, the National Storytelling Festival has welcomed some of the most acclaimed storytellers in the world. From seasoned professionals to emerging talents, each storyteller brings their unique perspective and expertise to captivate and engage the audience.

The festival offers workshops and storytelling competitions.

In addition to the main stage performances, the festival provides opportunities for attendees to hone their own storytelling skills. Workshops conducted by experienced storytellers allow participants to learn new techniques and enhance their storytelling abilities. There are also competitions where aspiring storytellers can showcase their talent and compete for recognition.

Educational programs for children are an integral part of the festival.

The National Storytelling Festival recognizes the importance of storytelling in children’s development. The event offers special programs and workshops tailored for young audiences, aiming to instill a love for storytelling and nurture their imagination and creativity.

Camping options are available for festival attendees.

For those who wish to fully immerse themselves in the festival experience, camping options are provided. Campgrounds near the festival grounds offer a convenient and communal way to connect with fellow attendees and storytelling enthusiasts.

The festival highlights the cultural heritage of storytelling.

Storytelling has been a fundamental part of human culture since ancient times. The National Storytelling Festival pays homage to this rich heritage, celebrating the timeless tradition of passing down stories from one generation to another.

The festival promotes the preservation of oral traditions.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the National Storytelling Festival serves as a reminder of the power and importance of oral traditions. By showcasing the art of storytelling, the festival encourages the preservation and appreciation of this valuable form of communication.

In conclusion, the National Storytelling Festival is a one-of-a-kind celebration of storytelling that brings together people from all walks of life. Through its diverse performances, workshops, and competitions, the festival continues to inspire and captivate audiences around the world. Whether you are a seasoned storyteller or simply appreciate the magic of a well-told tale, the National Storytelling Festival is an event not to be missed.


The National Storytelling Festival is a truly remarkable event that celebrates the art of storytelling and preserves this ancient tradition for future generations. From its humble beginnings in a small town to its current status as one of the most prestigious storytelling events in the world, the festival has captivated audiences with its enchanting stories and vibrant atmosphere.With a rich history dating back over four decades, the festival has become a gathering place for storytellers, listeners, and enthusiasts from all walks of life. The immersive experience offered by this event allows attendees to witness the power of storytelling firsthand, as they are transported to different worlds, cultures, and perspectives through the stories shared on the festival stages.Whether you are a seasoned storyteller or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of a well-crafted narrative, the National Storytelling Festival offers something for everyone. It is a chance to step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the magic of stories.So, mark your calendars and make your way to the next National Storytelling Festival. Prepare to be spellbound as you embark on a journey through the power of words, imagination, and human connection.


1. When and where does the National Storytelling Festival take place?

The National Storytelling Festival takes place annually on the first full weekend in October in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

2. How long has the festival been running?

The festival has been running for over four decades. It was first held in 1973.

3. What can I expect to see at the festival?

At the National Storytelling Festival, you can expect to see renowned storytellers performing on various stages, workshops and masterclasses on storytelling techniques, and a vibrant marketplace showcasing storytelling-related crafts and books.

4. Do I need to purchase tickets in advance?

Yes, it is advisable to purchase tickets in advance as they tend to sell out quickly.

5. Can I participate as a storyteller?

The festival typically invites professional storytellers to perform on its stages. However, there may be opportunities for aspiring storytellers to participate in open mic sessions or workshops.

6. Is the festival suitable for children?

Absolutely! The festival offers family-friendly programming and activities designed to engage and entertain children of all ages.

7. Are there accommodations available in Jonesborough?

Yes, there are several accommodations available in Jonesborough, ranging from hotels to bed and breakfasts.

8. Can I bring food and drinks to the festival?

Outside food and drinks are not allowed, but there are food vendors available on-site.

9. Is there parking available?

Yes, there is designated parking available near the festival grounds. Additional parking options may also be available in the surrounding area.

10. Is the festival accessible for individuals with disabilities?

The festival grounds are wheelchair accessible, and accommodations can be made for individuals with disabilities upon request.

If you're captivated by the enchanting world of storytelling, there's so much more to explore! Delve into the art and craft of spinning tales with our insightful article on storytelling. For a fascinating glimpse into a vibrant cultural event, check out our piece on the mesmerizing Zulu Reed Dance. And if you're curious about the rich tapestry of local legends and folklore, our article on Greenville, North Carolina's captivating tales is sure to pique your interest.

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