Storytelling school

Storytelling Festival to fill the Big South Fork area with stories and fun on Saturdays

The Haunting in the Hills Storytelling Festival will bring together thousands of students from East Tennessee schools to hear renowned storytellers.

Great Smoky Mountains Natl. Park — Behind all the rustic cabins, delicious food, and colorful quilts, there’s something deeper at the heart of Appalachian culture — the stories.

On the third Saturday in September each year, the National Park Service holds a festival to celebrate the art of storytelling. It’s the Haunting in the Hills Storytelling Festival, and Saturday will mark the event’s 30th year. It is housed in the Bandy Creek Visitor Center in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

Festival attendees will hear world-renowned storytellers. Every year, thousands of students from across the region hear about them as part of the festival’s outreach program. Local schools had the chance to hear them during the week leading up to the event.

These storytellers include Pam Faro, Sheila Arnold, Laconia Therrio and Ingrid Nixon.

There will also be music, crafts and more. Craft classes and concerts are free and open to the public, according to the National Park Service. It will last from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is free to the public. Attendees can arrive at 151 Stable Road in Oneida for the event.

People should bring a chair and plan to stay a while, listening to captivating ghost stories and tales from the hills.