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“Yarns, tall-tales, good food and an all around good time.”

International Storytelling Center
Certificate of Excellence
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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 In the decades since, those 60 people have grown to 10,000, and the hay wagon has been replaced by large, circus-like tents raised throughout the town.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.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

I went with a friend and met two others from Florida. We heard stories by tellers we had heard before and stories by some new tellers to us. They told stories from all over the world and each one gently dragged us in and made us part of the tale. This is an event that is held every year in October. It is well worth your time and money to look up this event and see if you can't attend next year. If you have the urge to share a story there is a place to do that too. It is a three day event. Try it, you will like it. It is in a lovely hilly town in Tennessee bursting with character and grace.

1  Thank Melanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 - 87 of 121 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2013 via mobile

Went to this with husband, sister-in-law and brother-in-law who is handicapped. Had wonderful 2 days. For your money you will be very hard pressed to get as much entertainment over 3 days anywhere else for the money. It was a bit warm in tents. Next time we come I will bring cushions for seat and something to move air around me. Fascinating. Don't know if I can afford the time every year but we will be back often.

Thank K B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2013

This is our second year to attend and we have found this to be a great event; well managed, efficient, reasonably priced, and most importantly- fun. Great storytellers with great stories to share. There were 19 main tellers presenting and others attending to help support. This is the 41st year and well received by all attending. Held in the oldest town in eastern Tennessee (Jonesborough), the first weekend of October, it is a jewel in providing a stage for continuing the art of storytelling.

Thank Cecil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2013

This will be my 7th year to attend the festival. Every year I've gone with different friends and/or family members. Each and every one of them said they enjoyed it and glad they went but didn't want to go again. I can't understand that, it's the high-light of the year for me.
This year I'm going alone which is no problem because I lose myself in the spirit of the place, the stories, the tellers, the whole atmosphere, just carries me away.
Being in a crowd of like-minded people, you feel the comraderie. It's easy to strike up a conversation, get to know other peoples experiences, in short, swap stories, which is the point of the whole week-end.
Hope to see you there, I'll be the lady with the biggest smile.

2  Thank Ann Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

I was really surprised that I enjoyed it so much. We had our 7 year old son with us & had missed the children's show & were hesitant to buy tickets but happy we did. He sit thru the entire show loving it! We saw David Holt. He is a very talented musician & story teller. Our show was at the Storytelling Center. The seats are comfy & not a bad seat in the house! The price is very reasonable & the show length was just right. I would recommend a David Holt show to any age person! Downtown Jonesborough is beautiful too! Great place to explore.

1  Thank Jrdeaton28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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