Three Rivers Storytelling Festival. Image courtesy of 3RSTF.

Schenley Plaza & multiple locations
August 2 — 7
Various times

If you have a budding raconteur in your clan or if bedtime reading is your family’s favorite pastime, then the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival is for you.

Open to all ages—with some events that are free—the 16th annual event is a celebration of the literary, spoken word and communication arts, and features a diverse range of perspectives, storytellers, concerts, workshops, activities, and events. Debuting its central new location hub in Oakland’s scenic urban green space, Schenley Plaza, this year’s edition is packed with outstanding national and local talents.

The festival kicks off on Tuesday, August 2 with a special free preview performance taking place downtown in Market Square from 10 to 11:30 a.m. During KidsPlay@Market, nationally recognized storytellers will entertain and inspire children and their families. Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, KidsPlay@Market will also feature hands-on art and storytelling activities.

Not to miss on Friday, August 5 are headlining appearances by three award-winning, national storytellers from around the U.S. Kim Weitkamp, Antonio Sacre and Adam Booth will join forces to present a free concert blending folk tales, true stories, and plenty of fun that is sure to delight. Doors open at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Oakland at 10 a.m. and the concert begins at 10:15 a.m.

Friday afternoon Kim Weitkamp presents a workshop for adults interested in learning how to use the power of storytelling to capture the hearts and minds of your non-profit organization’s stakeholders. On Saturday two more workshops are offered: “Creating Stories from Your Ethnic Roots” by Adam Booth and “Storytelling in Elementary and Secondary School” by Antonio Sacre.

Courtesy Three Rivers Storytelling Festival.
Courtesy Three Rivers Storytelling Festival.

Can you tell the difference between a tall tale and the honest truth? Don’t miss Friday evening’s lively “Liar’s Contest,” when Pittsburgh’s own storyteller stars will step into the spotlight to share “the most outrageous, unbelievable tales in an effort to be named the best liar in Pittsburgh.”

Friday’s programming will culminate with an evening storytelling event featuring the festival’s headlining tellers, Kim Weitkamp, Antonio Sacre and Adam Booth.

Return to the festival on Saturday, August 6, for a story-filled celebration featuring magical tales of the past and present, and two event concerts with Weitkamp, Sacre and Booth. Be sure to stay late for the special Ghost Stories concert featuring tellers who are sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up straight.

Pop into the festival’s “Story Store” to peruse books, CDs and other storytelling merchandise and crafts. Ready to weave your own tales? Sign up for one of the festival’s informative master classes or workshops (fees range from $35 to $75 and registration is required).

Admission for the weekend is $15 for adults and $5 for youth. Children under 6 are free.

View a complete schedule. Buy tickets.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in AugustEverything you need to know about Pittsburgh concerts in August and Top 10 things for families to do in August in Pittsburgh feature stories.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.