Zak McConnell Stage in Hancock Park
The Southern Appalachian oral art of storytelling will have significant presence at the 21st annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, which will be held in Dahlonega the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23, 2017.
In recent years, the Bear festival has featured Traditional Storytelling, hosted by Melanie Knauff and Debbie Weston-From, with participants from the Southern Order of Storytellers, which is an affiliate of the National Storytelling Network (NSN).
For the 2015 festival, the National Storytelling Network awarded Bear on the Square the designation as that year's Southeast Regional Spotlight Event for Storytelling. Along with the designation, the NSN provided a grant of $1,000 to the Southern Order of Storytellers to use to stage the SE Regional Spotlight Event at Bear, which included appearances by National Storyteller Adam Booth.
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.