Storytelling Festival Coming Back

The Kansas Storytelling Festival is coming back this month.  The event on April 22nd and April 23rd in Downs includes five nationally recognized tellers performing on five stages throughout the Festival. Over the course of the two days, the Festival also presents the annual tall tails contest, ghost stories, local legends, workshops,  master storytellers, and more.

Organizers say every session at the Festival offers something remarkable. Here are just a few highlights of this year’s line-up:

Andy Offutt Irwin. Andy is especially known for relating the adventures of his eighty-five-year-old-widowed-newly-minted-physician-aunt, Marguerite Van Camp, a woman who avoids curmudgeonship by keeping her finger on the pulse of the changing world around her.

Kim Weitkamp. Kim grew up in Amish Country as the middle child of exhausted parents. Labeled by teachers as high-spirited, uncooperative, and too talkative, Kim took those comments and channeled them into a lifetime of high-energy, heartfelt, and hilarious artistry.

Regi Carpenter. Regi’s stories uplift the audience as they are reminded of each individual’s tremendous impact within their circle. She utilizes the power of stories to motivate, inspire, energize, and focus individuals.

Don White. Don has invented his own genre with a mix of humor and powerful songwriting. He is a singer/songwriter, a comedian, an author, and a storyteller.

Phil S. Dixon. Phil has covered African American baseball topics for more than thirty-five years and is an author and storyteller of the rich history surrounding America’s pastime, baseball.

The Kansas Storytelling Festival offers the Tall Tales Contest on Friday evening. Throughout the Festival, enjoy the incredible talent through Local Legends, Ghost Stories, Storytelling Workshops, Master Storytellers, Swappin’ Ground, and Featured Tellers Q & A. All storytelling locations are accessible within a few blocks of walking distance. Enjoy a scenic shuttle ride between performances and there’s plenty of parking on Morgan Ave.

The Kansas Storytelling Festival started in 1994 as the vision of local citizens in conjunction with the Downs Arts Council. The Downs Arts Council mission is “to enhance the quality of life in our rural area” and the Kansas Storytelling Festival was a great step in meeting this mission. Former Kansas Governor Bill Graves officially recognized Downs in 1998 as “The Storytelling Capital of Kansas,” and proclaimed the last week of April as “The Kansas Storytelling Festival.”

For information about the Kansas Storytelling Festival, contact Glennys Doane, 785-545-5105, [email protected]

Purchase admission buttons early online,, by day, or by a performance at the historic Downs Depot.