Guide to Polk  

Cracker Storytelling Festival (October)

Before television and movies, Florida residents entertained each other by telling stories.

That traditional art is celebrated in the Cracker Storytelling Festival, held each year at Homeland Heritage Park.

The festival began in North Florida in 1989 as the Spirit of the Suwannee Harvest Festival. It took its current name in 1991 and moved to Heritage Park in 1995.

Many of the most renowned oral entertainers, known as "tellers," from Polk County and across Florida perform at the event. The festival evokes the era of Florida's settlement by Europeans when the cracking of cattle drivers' whips gave name to the state's inhabitants.

The date of the event has yet to be announced.

The Annual Whip Cracking Contest will be held during the festival, offering cash prizes and trophies in four age-group categories. The festival will include food and craft vendors.

Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students. The contest entry fee is $10.

A ghost storytelling event will be held at the Polk County Historical Museum in the Old Courthouse in Bartow.

Created: April 20, 2013 11:59 p.m.
Modified: April 18, 2014 2:29 p.m.
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