The Southern Appalachian oral art of storytelling will have added presence at the 19th annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, which will be held in Dahlonega the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, April 18-19.
In recent years, the Bear festival has featured Traditional Storytelling, hosted by Debbie Weston From with participants from the Southern Order of Storytellers, which is an affiliate of the National Storytelling Network (NSN).
This year, the National Storytelling Network has awarded Bear on the Square the designation as this year's Southeast Regional Spotlight Event for Storytelling. Along with the designation, the NSN has provided a grand of $1,000 to the Southern Order of Storytellers to use to stage the SE Regional Spotlight Event at Bear, which will include appearances by National Storyteller Adam Booth.
Booth, who is a storyteller, musician and educator from West Virginia, will share stories at three storytelling sessions and will lead two workshops at Bear, as well as serving as emcee for the Appalachian Story Slam which will feature students from the University of North Georgia's Appalachian Studies program.
Storytelling was an important mode of both communication and entertainment in the Southern Appalachian region, and Bear on the Square wants to do its part in helping carry on this cherished tradition. Stories, filled with tall tales, moral lessons, riddles and history, served to entertain, educate, and build community for early Appalachian settlers.
Sponsors of the Southeastern Regional Spotlight Event, in addition to NSN & Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., are Southern Order of Storytellers, Chestatee Regional Library and Georgia Appalachian Studies Center.
The schedule will be here soon.