Athens State University


9th Annual Athens Storytelling Festival Almost Here

9th Annual Athens Storytelling Festival Almost Here

[vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The Limestone County Courthouse square is decorated in fall finery in anticipation of the Athens Storytelling Festival to be held this year on Thursday, October 22 through Saturday, October 24. This year, the 3rd annual Local Storytellers Competition will be held on Tuesday, October 20. This is a great opportunity to hear some tall tales from some familiar faces in the community.

Athens is proud to offer this opportunity to participate in Storytelling – the oldest form of entertainment. Hear marvelous yarns by renowned storytelling masters:[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Donald DavisDonald Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories. “I didn’t learn stories, I just absorbed them,” he says as he recounts tales and more tales learned from a family of traditional storytellers who have lived on the same Western North Carolina land since 1781. Davis grew up hearing gentle fairy tales, simple and silly Jack tales, scary mountain lore, ancient Welsh and Scottish folktales, and-most importantly-nourishing true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin.
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Carmen DeedyCarmen Deedy has entertained thousands of children and adults alike in her ultra-energetic and charming style. Deedy has recounted her tales of growing up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia for over a decade. Her performances of the humorous and poignant of familial living ring a familiar tone in the ear while retaining a unique quality of her individual upbringing.
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Andy Offutt IrwinAndy Offutt Irwin is an entertainer in the best sense of the word, Andy is a storyteller, humorist, singer, songwriter, musician, whistler, walking menagerie of sound effects and character voices, and so much more; some of his talents are hard to categorize. In storytelling circles, he is especially known for relating the adventures of his eighty-five-year-old-widowed-newly-minted-physician-aunt, Marguerite Van Camp, a woman who avoids curmudgeonship by keeping her finger on the pulse of… well herself, but also the changing world around her. She steps lively through it, loving as many people as she can.
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Michael Reno HarrellMichael Reno Harrell is an award-winning songwriter and veteran storyteller from the Southern Appalachian Mountains whose unique brand of entertainment appeals to a very diverse audience. The whole family will enjoy his performance, inspired by his life in the South as well as his time touring Europe and the British Isles.
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Bill LeppBil Lepp tells original, hilarious, tales that will bring a smile to the face of even the most ill-humored person around. Bil has been a Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival several times, and at The Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Bil is an award-winning author and recording artist, and has been featured at venues across the nation, including a recent appearance for Comedy Central. Lepp is the recipient of the Storytelling Circle of Excellence Award. He recently won the 2013 Parents’ Choice Gold Award for The King of Little Things, his first picture book. Bil tells original, hilarious tales that will bring a smile to the face of even the most ill-humored person around. Bil is the author of three books of tales, four audio collections, and he has had stories published in several national magazines. Bil has been a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival several times, and at The Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]Stories will be told in the big tent on Marion Street, between Market and Washington, within close proximity to an eclectic mix of downtown restaurants and shops offering a wide variety of antiques, gifts, gourmet foods, clothing and hardware. On Friday, October 23 the tall tales start at 9:00 a.m. and run through 9:40 p.m. that night. Saturday’s stories start at 9:00 a.m. and run until 9:40 p.m. There are lunch and dinner breaks both days, but attendees are encouraged to come and go at their leisure.

On Thursday evening October 22 at 7:15 p.m., there will be a Storytelling Olio where our storytellers will whet your appetite in an event you won’t want to miss.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the tent will be open to participating city and county schools, grades 3 through 12 so that the art of Storytelling can be experienced by the next generation of great tellers.
Storytelling is traditional, creative, educational, cultural, personal, and therapeutic. The stories told will seem spontaneous, but not without hours of coaching and practice-the storytellers will captivate their audience by using eye contact, their voices, movement, and expressions to bring their stories to life in the listeners’ minds and hearts.

In addition to traditional day and weekend tickets, half-day tickets and children’s tickets will be available. You may purchase tickets online at or at the Epiphany Boutique in the Center for Lifelong Learning at 121 S. Marion Street on the east side of the Limestone County Courthouse Square. Advance discounted tickets are available through Wednesday, October 21.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]