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National Storytelling Festival

By travelanswerman | September 22, 2009

Looking for an amazing travel destination right here in the U.S.A?  Every October, the National Storytelling Festival convenes in Jonesborough, Tennessee.  This year, it takes place October 2nd- October 4th. It’s a wholesome family experience that draws thousands of visitors from across the country every year.  There is simply no other event like it.  It’s wonderful; it’s affordable and it’s unforgettable.

The best storytellers in the nation converge each year in this small historic town to tell their stories to adoring and rapt audiences, who are seated under large tents.The crowds are large and occupy several tents where stories are being told simultaneously.  This leads to agonizing choices when visitors must choose one storyteller over another. The only drawback of the festival is that it’s a victim of its success. The rising popularity now attracts several thousands of visitors, which does compromise the intimacy that existed years ago when the audiences were small.

The storytellers, or ‘tellers’, as they are called, are true artists.  They combine skills and talents of writers, comedians, musicians and actors.  They take visitors back in time to one-room schoolhouses, stickball games and innocent tales of romance. While many stories are hilarious and entertaining, others are poignant and serious.  Many stories last for a full hour and no listener wants to miss a single word or facial expression. The story subjects explore family life, history, animal stories, childhood escapades, personal relationships, spirituality and many examples of the absurdities of life. The festival transports visitors back to a simpler times, when fun was rocking on the porch swing or building a treehouse in the backyard.  Every year, the festival includes accomplished folk singers and musicians who have developed a cult following among many of the attendees.

The experience is ideal for families who are seeking a delightful bonding experience that is Rated G.  Kids are surprised at how much fun they can have without the internet or an MP3 player.  This is a valuable lesson it itself.

Jonesborough is a charming historic town that blooms every October with the festival.  If you’re considering stopping by, be warned.  Ten thousand others have already made their hotel reservations at least a year in advance.  You can still find accomodations at the last minute, but your hotel may be some distance from the festival.

This may not be an exotic journey to a faraway land, but it’s definitely a trip worth taking.  Be warned!  The experience is habit forming and you may find yourself returning to the festival year after year.

Michael Kirsch, M.D. is a practicing physician and writer.  He is one of the founders of Travel Clinics of America, a national network of trained physicians who provide travel vaccinations and personalized safety advice to travelers across the country.  Visit   HYPERLINK “http://www.TravelClinicsofAmerica.com” http://www.travelclinicsofamerica.com to learn more about staying safe and healthy abroad.

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