National Storytelling Festival

pic“What New Orleans is to jazz… Jonesborough is to storytelling.”
Los Angeles Times

Located in the natural beauty of Northeast Tennessee in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Historic Jonesborough has played host to the National Storytelling Festival for over three decades. Called “the leading event of its kind in America” by USA Today, the award-winning festival takes place the first full weekend of every October.

The National Storytelling Festival began in 1973 when 60 people gathered around an old farm wagon in Courthouse Square to hear a few Appalachian tales. During the decades since, that tiny audience has grown to 10,000 listeners, and the hay wagon has been replaced by large, circus-like tents spread throughout the town where world-renowned tellers spin their tales in this storybook setting.

Produced by Jonesborough’s International Storytelling Center, the National Storytelling Festival represents three days of exciting storytelling performances that reflect a wealth of cultures, traditions, and styles - a world of stories in one small, historic town. For more information, visit or call (423) 913-1276 or (800) 952-8392.

Festival Photos by Fresh Air Photo