Week of Storytelling Across the Big South Fork

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Date: September 7, 2016
Contact: Zeb Whitaker, (423) 569-9778
Contact: Christopher Derman

As summer begins to wind down Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area begins eight days of storytelling, September 10-17, with the 6th annual Ghost Train and the 24th annual Storytelling Festival.

The first event planned is the Ghost Train scheduled for September 10, down at the Blue Heron Interpretive Center, on the Kentucky side of the park. This event can begin with a ride down to the mining community on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, where visitors will be led on a walk around the site to a variety of local storytellers who will entertain you with tales of ghostly happenings from days gone by. This event is made especially entertaining as all of the storytellers are volunteers and park staff who have a knack for telling great stories. The event can also be reached by vehicle by driving down to Blue Heron and will start at approximately 7:00 p.m. The event itself is free of charge. There is a charge to ride the train down, and train tickets can be purchased from the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, headquartered in Stearns, Kentucky.

The storytelling continues throughout the following week as professional storytellers tour schools in Fentress, Morgan, Pickett, and Scott counties in Tennessee and McCreary and Wayne counties in Kentucky to tell tall tales and funny stories. Big South Fork NRRA hires professional storytellers to visit many of the local schools around the park to give the children a glimpse into the old traditions of telling stories and tales. The storytellers use voices, props and other means to tell fascinating stories about old times and forgotten ways. Children will bring home many stories about the folks they have seen during the day. This is all made available to the schools at no cost.

The culmination of the storytelling events is the 24th annual Storytelling Festival on September 17, 2016. The professionals ply their skills in an afternoon storytelling session that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. They tell stories of ancient legends and mystical places to entertain all who may listen. Later, under the cover of darkness, the storytellers begin their traditional ghost stories and spooky tales. This is not for the faint of heart. Many of the stories are based on just enough true facts to make you wonder if it could have really happened the way they relate it to the audience. Come out and enjoy a day of storytelling, dulcimer music, crafts and other exhibits throughout the day at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center.

All of these events are open to the public and are accessible to anyone who may want to visit. There is no charge for any of the events. So if you want to hear tales and stories, many that have been handed down over generations, come visit the Big South Fork during the week of September 10-17, 2015.

Please click here for the Storytelling Festival Event Flyer.

For more information about the event or for directions to Bandy Creek, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275, or park headquarters at (423) 569-9778. The storytelling festival is on Eastern Time. The event is free to the public. Bring a blanket or folding chairs to settle in and listen to the stories and the music.

For more information about the annual storytelling event, please use this link: https://www.nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/storytelling.htm.

For information about the annual Ghost Train, please use this link: https://www.nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/bhghosttrain.htm

Last updated: September 7, 2016

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