History and Background

Welcome to a very unique experience! We are glad you are interested in learning more!

Where did the name Cracker Storytelling Festival come from and what does it mean?

Founded in 1989 as the Spirit of the Suwannee Harvest Storytelling Festival by Annette Bruce, it became the Cracker Storytelling Festival in 1991 to honor the pioneer spirit of the “Cracker” in Florida. In 1995, the festival moved to the Homeland Heritage Park and the whip cracking contest was added to the festival.

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is the art of using words, gestures, facial expression, and body language to bring a story to life in the listener’s imagination. From the beginning of time, storytelling has been the way cultures have preserved and celebrated their memories, passed on their values and belief systems, entertained, instructed, and reported. Today, storytelling is recognized as one of the most effective brain-compatible teaching strategies, accessible for children with diverse abilities and disabilities, and applicable to all “ways of knowing.” Storytelling continues to invite us all to “Enter the Theater of the Mind—the Imagination!”

Storytelling engages linguistic, logical, musical, spatial, interpersonal, intra-personal, and kinesthetic learners alike, at the same time strengthening essential foundation skills such as listening, visualization, vocabulary acquisition, and comprehension. Storytelling is a Power Tool for Literacy! Students will be entertained, challenged and stimulated through the use of voice, poetry, characterization and music.

Audience participation allows the student to join in and create the story along with the teller. Language is automatically translated into images and learning can occur with joy.