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“Best festival ever”

International Storytelling Center
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: In our age of fast-moving technology, it seems unlikely that thousands of audience members could spend a weekend mesmerized by the voices of storytellers. But that's exactly what happens in Jonesborough every year, starting the first Friday in October and running through the weekend. The National Storytelling Festival began in 1973 when 60 people came to hear a few Appalachian tales from the back of a hay wagon parked beside the town courthouse. In the decades since, those 60 people have grown to 10,000, and the hay wagon has been replaced by large, circus-like tents raised throughout the town. Those first mountain tales are supplemented now with stories from around the globe, spiked with the flair of poetry, blues, ballads and banjo. The Festival encompasses a wealth of cultures, traditions and styles- a world of stories within one small, historic town.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
106 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Best festival ever”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

My husband and I have been attending this festival every 3 years since 1990. The tellers are probably the best in the world. We laugh, we cry. We are inspired to share our own stories with each other and friends. And Jonesborough is such a delightful little historic town. The people of Jonesborough really roll out the red carpet during this event. For a truly uplifting Amercian experience, this is it.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank qualgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    87
    15
    5
    1
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Truly amazing - go once & you'll be hooked.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

I've been going to the NSF since 1999. It's changed in one way or the other over the years, but one thing has been a constant -- quality storytelling. The featured tellers come from around the world. They offer humor, charm, drama, and folklore to tents filled with eager listeners. To me, it's like an intellectual field day with a big dash of stand up comedy. Donald Davis, Carmen Deedy, Bil Lepp, Kevin Kling, Bill Harley, David Holt and a host of others deliver pure amazement and entertainment consistently. I recommend this event for ages 11 and up.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank gcwebster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“storytelling in creekside restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012

went to a story-telling on Tuesday evening in creekside restaurant. Lots of really friendly people who made us very welcome. Totally new experience for us, so entertaining, funny and moving.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank aliarno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jonesborough, Tennessee, United States
1 review
“Best weekend in Jonesborough”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2012

Excitement, variety, new friendships, great stories!! Tellers from around the world-new tellers as well as the most familiar-Donald Davis and Bill
Lepp are here to entertains you .

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank Dee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jonesborough, Tennessee
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2012

The town is transformed into a magical place, unlike anything you'll find anywhere. In the world of Storytelling Jonesborough in Mecca.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank Antkgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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