September 30, 2013

CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381


Decatur, Ala. – Some of the nation’s top storytellers will gather in Athens the last weekend of October for three days of storytelling, readings, and musical performances. The seventh annual Athens Storytelling Festival returns to the Limestone County Courthouse Square in downtown Athens October 24-26, 2013, and along with award-winning performers, this year’s event features a new local competition giving someone from the community a chance to share an original story or tall tale.

This year’s festival kicks off on Tuesday evening, October 22, with a new Local Tellers Competition. The winner of the juried competition will join the professional tellers during the Thursday Night Olio. Admission at the gate is $5/adult and $2.50/child.

This year’s lineup features an eclectic mix of professional storytellers and musicians. On Thursday evening, come whet your appetite for some good old-fashioned storytelling at the Storytelling Olio where this year’s performers will provide a sampling of what’s to come. Advance tickets (by October 7) are $10/adult, $7 child.

Slated to appear at this year’s event are many of the favorite performers from previous years including internationally known Carmen Deedy, author Donald Davis, Emmy Award winner Bobby Norfolk, and National Storytelling Festival favorite Bil Lepp. Also set to perform are The Dill Pickers, a group of individual musicians who have grown into a band of storytelling, instrument wielding performers popular all across the state of Alabama, and Minton Sparks who brands herself as “the best country music singer that doesn’t sing.”

Stories will be told in the big tent on Marion Street, between Market and Washington. In addition, a variety of food vendors and local restaurants will tantalize your taste buds and many shops ranging from antiques, hardware, clothing, gourmet food and more will be open during the festivities.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Advance tickets for Friday or Saturday are $25/adult and $12/child 5-16 years old or $40/adult and $12/child 5-16 years old for both days. Additional ticket options including advance tickets) are available on the Festival’s website at For a biography on each storyteller and a complete schedule of events, visit the festival’s web site or for more information, call Chairman Wayne Kuykendall at 256. 232.0400.

The Festival hosts Tennessee Valley area school groups and homeschoolers where students will be enlightened and entertained with the power of storytelling for free during school hours on Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the event. Reservations are required by sending an email to Nanci Spears at

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals. Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting 


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