This is topic National Storytelling Festival in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
Has anyone ever attended the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN? I went about ten years or so ago and it was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. It is a lovely, homey setting with lots of really nice folks and some serious talent and fun. The performances are outdoors, under tents, although there was a special "Ghost Stories" night that was open air. I'm thinking about going again this year (Oct 6-8).

There were storytellers and musicians from all over the world, some more memorable than others but all enjoyable. Lots of very different styles. I learned a lot from some of the presenters who had dedicated themselves to passing along bits of culture that are disappearing from our hectic modern world. I was saddened to learn that Ray Hicks, a storytelling/ Appalachian culture icon, has since passed away. He was known for preserving and passing along the "Jack Tales," about the adventures of a simple poor boy, that have been told in the region since colonial times (probably related to Jack and the Beanstalk). I could barely understand his dialect, but enjoyed hearing him nonetheless. Thought I'd post a link to a site in his honor--he lived all his life in the Carolina mounatins in the home where he was born, and although he gained worldwide recognition, he never received any real financial compensation for his contributions. A fund has been started to help his wife and son, who are ill. I enjoyed reading the tributes to him.
Posted by dkw (Member # 3264) on :
I have been, 4 or 5 times. Bob & I went last year. We planned to go again this year, even talked to the B&B where we stayed last time, but since we now have a baby due Oct. 6 it doesn't look too likely. [Frown]
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
Hmmm . . . I'd say childbirth might be a good reason to miss it this year! [Wink]
Posted by dkw (Member # 3264) on :
We had intended to conceive this child at the Festival last year, so that s/he'd be old enough to go this year, but it didn't work out that way. [Big Grin]
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
Now that's what I call family planning!
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
Yes, my first time going was 2005. It was fantastic. I think that the next time I go I will plan on bringing food (rather than purchasing most lunches, dinners and snacks from the concessions) and get some sort of cushion that will make it less onerous to sit in the folding chairs for long periods. On the latter score, I do not think that the standard "stadium cushion" thing would suffice. I'm thinking maybe something like a memory foam pillow...

Jonesboro is a wonderful place. We stayed in the home of a young couple there, and it worked out great.

I had a wonderful time.
Posted by Brinestone (Member # 5755) on :
If you go again this year, keep an eye out for a friend of mine, Rachel Hedman. She's a big-time storyteller and (I believe) is the president of the national storytelling organization.
Posted by dkw (Member # 3264) on :
I googled it, since I didn't recognize her name --she's co-chair of a national storytelling orgainzation -- the Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance. The festival is put on by the National Storytelling Network and the International Storytelling Center. Not that she might not still be there, of course. [Smile]

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