The Telling Tales Festival 2016

The Telling Tales Festival is a free, one-day, outdoor festival held in the Rockton area. Now in it’s 8th year, the geeks were able to attend although they didn’t realize they were all going.

So yeah we totally just randomly all met there, which is funny, but that’s the type of festival it is.  One where families go to find out about literature and promote literacy.. and we’re all about the literacy.

Here are a couple of our thoughts –


Ol’ timey awesomeness

This was our second time at the Telling Tales Festival and both times we were amazed at how well it was organized. From a festival point of view that tends to be on the larger size of festivals, they cover all the angles: food trucks for when you get hungry, water stations to refill your water bottles (for free!), washrooms nearby, helpful organizers to field your questions, you name it, they got your back! The events this year were just as awesome. The cosplay characters we all super nice. We didn’t get a chance to hit up the book trade area (bring a gently used book and exchange it for another gently used book) but we will next time. The Hamilton Children’s Choir was a hit with our son, as well as Jude Johnson’s whimsical songs and dance. That’s the nice thing about this festival. It has appeal for everyone. Not into stories? No problem, here’s some song and dance! Not into art, maybe you’ll like puppets. Telling Tales truly lives up to its name, and then some. Stories are not bound by written words alone. Well done! Looking forward to the festival next year!


Telling Tales is a gorram miracle of a festival. “But Szpirs, I’ve got to drive like a hojillion miles to get to …Rockton? Where’s Rockton?” SHUT UP. Rockton is home to the best pies in the world and the coolest country fair. How do you not know where it is? You’re embarrassing yourself. Now, it’s true you’ll need a car to get there but lots of schools and local school boards arrange bussing for parents and kids. You really have no excuse. “Do I have to take a shuttle bus? I hate shuttle busses.” Telling Tales has the best run shuttle system in the world. Time from my car door to festival grounds was like ten minutes…with two lil’ kids in tow…and completely free. Even riding the school bus (the shuttles were all donated from schools) feels like a heroic journey to somewhere special thanks to the bright and super-helpful volunteers. Thanks to corporate sponsors, the whole event was free. I didn’t spend a penny. We traded old books for new ones, saw a kids’ author lead a doodling workshop, climbed on a train, sang and danced with national treasure Jude Johnson, hung out with Robin Hood (the cosplayers were incredible – held character but were perfectly friendly)…and it was FREE (now, like all good humans I dropped a donation on my way out…and you can buy souvenir programs and buttons for $2.00…but it’s not like there’s a an impulse aisle or a gauntlet of arm-twisting fundraisers by the gate). The best part was running into familiar faces…coworkers, friends, repeat presenters….there’s a sense of real community there…of parents, educators, and creators who love reading, readers, and the power of creativity. It’s like a weird, inverted Disneyworld: pure magic and a world sized for kids but big enough for everyone…just without the ceaseless barrage of selling. Look, we go every year rain or shine. You should too.


This was our first time at the festival and it was a great time. We had some old books that Kat had gone through, so it was nice to have a book swap where we could get some new books in exchange for our old ones.  The venue was great.  Having it at a Heritage Village

Kat loved this train.

allowed us to experience that, as well as all the activities that the festival had going. We were able to catch a couple of the activities – a cartoonist was teaching kids to draw, there was a story telling area for teens and we saw a song-writing event put on by the Hamilton Library.  My kid, being 2, loved the open area and she just ran everywhere.  The best parts for her were the awesome old train and the barn with the animals.  All in all, awesome times.  I did think that the book area was a little cramped but I’m wondering if that’s because we went during peak hours.  Also the popcorn was great.  Overall, let’s say a 4 out of 5.



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