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“Wonderful place for local residents and tourists alike!”

International Storytelling Center
Certificate of Excellence
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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 In the decades since, those 60 people have grown to 10,000, and the hay wagon has been replaced by large, circus-like tents raised throughout the town.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 7 September 2017

I love Storytelling, but I don't love crowds. In Jonesborough, I have the opportunity to see world-class storytellers in a small auditorium, with no crowds. Tellers-in-Residence perform Tuesday through Saturday every week.

Remember to wear a sweater -- they keep the place frosty!

Thank GenghisKhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (121)
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6 - 10 of 121 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2017

I went to this place for a matinee performance. The place was very clean, and the seats were comfy too.

Thank shopcoffee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2017 via mobile

The annual festival is hit or miss. They have over a dozen storytellers and some a fabulous while others quite the opposite. The town is charming and very friendly. There is a festival atmosphere with the set up large tents from which listeners rotate. One must be careful in making your choice of which tellers to hear in these tents so that you will be properly entertained.

Fair warning-- most tents are hot and extremely crowded (except for the less popular tellers). Seats are too close together and it is hard to shuffle down the rows. As for food, the local restaurants are limited but very good. However, the food tents and trucks are the worst in expensive and crappy fast food.

Parking is an absolute nightmare. If you are not early enough to pay for an expensive space close in, one must park miles away and take a free bus. This involves a lot of inconvenience and waiting.

Thank Dennis T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2017 via mobile

Jonesborough has free music all summer long every Friday night! You bring your own chair open it up in front of the court house and relax. The street is closed offed and the music varies each Friday. There is some dancing or easy listening. Always great and fun!! We eat at a local restaurant right on the street.

Thank 59phyllisp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2017

We had such a good time here. the center is a great place to hear stories told. It is a beautiful facility. You will enjoy an evening of stories told in an entertaining way.

Thank Traveler_for_Life_52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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