Over the years, stories – filled with tall tales, moral lessons, riddles, and history – served to entertain, educate, pass down family stories and build the community for early Appalachian settlers. The mission and vision for the Storytelling sessions at Bear on the Square continue this tradition with a focus on sharing stories related to Southern Appalachia.

Plan to stop by Zak McConnell Stage in Hancock Park and spend some time listening to professional storytellers who are keeping the oral tradition of the mountains alive.

The 2025 schedule will be posted at the beginning of April 2025.

Saturday – 2024 Schedule

10:30 a.m. MainStage

Storytelling Kick-off on the MainStage

Zak McConnell Stage in Hancock Park

11:00 am – Storytelling with Denise Mount and Hannah Sage

12:00 pm – Storytelling with Denise Mount and Hannah Sage

1:00 pm – Open Mic with Mike Mount

Open Mic Guidelines:

    • 5-minute stories
    • Family-friendly
    • No rants, politics, or religion

2:00 pm – Workshop:  Appalachian Sung Stories with Hannah Sage
Step into the enchanting world of Appalachian ballads with Hannah Sage From. Hannah was introduced to the beauty of ballads and Appalachian music as a young Pick and Bow student. During the workshop, you will hear beautiful ballads, discover the history, and even learn to sing a ballad or two.

Storytelling at Bear

The Appalachian art of storytelling has always had a significant presence at Bear on the Square Mountain Festival. However, since 2013, Bear on the Square has featured traditional storytelling sessions and workshops. Many of the storytellers we’ve had on the Zak McConnell stage are members of Southern Order of Storytellers (SOS) and Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia, which are local storytelling organizations. Both SOS and Kuumba are affiliates of the National Storytelling Network (NSN). 

For more information:
Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia 
The Southern Order of Storytellers 
National Storytelling Network

The  Storytelling program is sponsored by Give a Folk.