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Liar, Fiddler, and Storytellers

What if two of the nation’s best entertainers performed right here in Cookeville and you could get a ticket for only $25? 

One has performed in all 50 states, throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, at the Grand Ole Opry, the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.  Josh Goforth is a highly accomplished storyteller and acoustic musician who plays close to twenty different instruments.  

Goforth has won awards as a Master Fiddler and one of his albums was nominated for a Grammy.  He is currently a faculty member at the Academy for the Arts in Asheville and continues to perform all over the world.  

Another entertainer has won awards on stages reserved for only the best storytellers.  Bil Lepp is a storyteller, an author and a recording artist. 

            Maybe you’ve seen Lepp as the host of the History Channel’s Man Vs. History series or maybe you’ve read or listened to one of his 28 books, some that have won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award and the Public Library Association Award.  You may have even seen Lepp as the host of NPR’s internationally syndicated Mountain Stage. 

You might not be willing to pay $25 to hear both Goforth and Lepp perform, but how about $10? 

Lepp performs at corporate events and at every major storytelling festival around the country, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.   For those of us who yearn to attend the National Storytelling Festival held in Jonesborough, TN, in October each year, we can stay home to see and hear Lepp, a festival participant for the past nineteen years.

Did you know there’s a liar’s contest?  Lepp has won the West Virginia Liar’s Contest five times; some say it’s not easy to know when he’s telling the truth since he blends tall-tales and stories with nuggets of truth. 

Both Goforth and Lepp will be on the Cookeville Storyfest stage and you can easily get a ticket.  Just show up and bring your sense of humor and your appreciation for entertainment.  The cost is $0.

Yes, Storyfest is FREE!  It’s an all-day event on Saturday, May 6, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and is presented by the City of Cookeville Leisure Services Department.  Look for the big tent in Dogwood Park behind the Cookeville History Museum on East Broad Street.

Storyfest begins with two local storytellers: Dwight Henry, followed by Peggy Fragopoulos.   Along with these two seasoned storytellers, and professionals GoForth and Lepp, you’ll want to catch the Amateur Storytelling Competition.  Your friends and neighbors might be onstage.

Storyfest is a come-and-go event; stay as long as you want, which will probably be all day.  A detailed schedule is available at https://www.facebook.com/CookevilleStoryfest or call Beth Thompson at (931)528-8580 for information.

It’s said that Lepp is one of the funniest men ever heard and he’ll make you believe the wild stories he tells.  Josh Goforth mixes storytelling and fiddling.

 Storyfest is for all ages – anyone old enough to listen and young enough to laugh. Don’t miss it.  After all, it’s FREE and right here in our town.


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