Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival is back and live

Melanie StatenAnderson, Our Town Stories

The Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival, featuring three nationally renowned storytellers, is back with in-person performances June 3 and 4. Early bird ticket prices are available through May 15. This popular annual event will return live at the Historic Grove Theater, 123 Randolph Road, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


All tickets, including the early bird special, can be purchased online at Eventbrite or the Ferrell Shop (cash or check only) in Oak Ridge. Tickets for individual performances and events are available.

The three-day event will feature storytellers Sheila Arnold, Bil Lepp and Kim Weitkamp  known to audiences nationwide for their wit, wisdom and ability to make audiences laugh, cry and reminisce. Two special events have been added to the weekend: a writing workshop by Bil Lepp,  on Thursday, June 2, and a special tour of Oak Ridge by Oak Ridge Historian, Ray Smith on Friday, June 3.

On Friday night, June 3, 7 p.m. Flatwater Tales has commissioned acclaimed storyteller Sheila Arnold to write and tell the story of the Scarboro 85, the 85 brave youngsters who desegregated the Oak Ridge Schools in 1955. Few people know of this 1955 milestone event. Sheila will honor the Scarboro 85 in her presentation, “The Secret City’s Secret City: Scarboro,” by telling some of their stories. Storytellers Bil Lepp and Kim Weitkamp  will also perform Friday evening. Friday evening tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

The festival has received significant corporate sponsorship for 2022. Consolidated Nuclear Security at Y-12 National Security Complex is the presenting sponsor for the entire festival, and Pinnacle Bank is underwriting the Friday night premiere performance by Sheila Arnold. Other corporate sponsors are Bridgewater Balance and Hearing, Chuck’s Car Care Center and TNBank.

The Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival is led by volunteers from all three Oak Ridge Rotary Clubs.

Melanie Staten is a public relations consultant with her husband, Vince.

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