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Stories Share Heritage and Inspire Community in Fincastle

Annual festival gathers nationally celebrated storytellers, live music, and community.

Stories are at the heart of who we are and how we interact as a community. In April, those community building stories will once again be the focal point for one theatrical weekend in southwest Virginia as the Sounds of the Mountains Festival at Camp Bethel returns for its 19th year.

“Stories inspire, educate, motivate, and entertain, but most of all stories are how we pass along our values, memories, and heritage,” remarked festival co-founder Alan Hoal. “There is no other experience quite like the power of hearing stories shared from nationally recognized storytellers.”

This year’s line-up features nationally-known, professional storytellers including Regi Carpenter, Lyn Ford, Andy Offutt Irwin, and Tim Lowry. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and the Festival runs through 9:00 p.m. Saturday. A detailed festival performance schedule can be found at

“The festival provides a relaxing and entertainment-filled weekend for the whole family,” said Hoal. “The tellers are true professionals whose tales have been heard around the world. This unique weekend offers a blend of live music, homemade food, and dramatic storytelling unlike any event of its kind on the East Coast. You may laugh or you may cry, but you won’t be disappointed.”

The Sounds of the Mountains Festival presents several fun activities not usually found at other storytelling events. After the performances Friday night, the tellers gather by a large campfire to share s’mores and stories at a special Meet and Greet. On Saturday afternoon, attendees can share their own stories at the Swapping Ground.

The majority of performances are held indoors and the festival will take place rain or shine. For more information call 919-607-0993, email [email protected] or visit

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