Monday, August 29, 2011

Tell Me a Story

Timpanogos Storytelling FestivalThursday-Saturday Sept. 1-3, 2011
Mt. Timpanogos Park in Provo Canyon
Everyone loves a good story. Little known fact: the first cave drawing is directly related to the phrase, "you should have seen it; it was THIS BIG!" While the desire to be entertained is universal, I think Utahans have a special place in their hearts for story. It's a fundamental part of our cultural heritage. Maybe that's why the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is one of the largest in the country.

Approximately 26,000 people from across the country (and the world) make the trek to Utah for the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. In 2005, the city of Orem designed the Mt. Timpanogos Park in Provo Canyon to accomodate the ever-increasing crowds. Timpanogos attracts world-renowned storytellers. That's right, we get the best of the best like Donald Davis, Bil Lepp, and Charlie Chin.

Every Labor Day weekend, my "KAG" compatriots fly in to Utah and we attend the festival together. I have laughed until I've cried, and cried when I've experienced carthasis in a story. I have been transported to different cultures, different countries, even different worlds.

This is a can't miss opportunity for families. I've sat in tents and watched children transfixed by a single voice, not an electronic device in sight. Because, in the end, I believe everyone wants to hear a story...humorous, informative, fantastical, nostalgic, spine-tingling, inspirational.

Main events for the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival start Thursday night and run throughout Saturday. You can purchase tickets for single events, entire days, or the entire weekend. I find the weekend pass to be the best bargain. That lets you in to two days of storytelling at Timpanogos Park and two nights of hilarity or horror (depending on whether you go to Laughing Night at the SCERA Shell or Shivers in the Night at park.

A Navajo friend of mine told me her father used to take the kids outdoors at night in the Arizona desert and tell them all of the legends of the constellations and how the world came to be. The sharing of stories is primarily a oral tradition in the Navajo culture, and she's she worried that the stories arefading away. While I'm all for writing things down, I believe that everyone could benefit from practicing the art of telling and listening to a story.

In addition to the storytelling tents, the festival is packed with life musical performances, puppet shows and excellent food provided by prominent local restaurants. I'm looking forward to indulging in a little grilled pineapple from Toucano's as well as a breadstick from Magleby's.

Visit the official Timpanogos Storytelling Festival website for a schedule of the weekend's activities, ticket prices, and a list of the featured performers.

Parking for the general public is not available at the park. The festival runs shuttles every 15 minutes from parking lots in Orem and Provo. Click here to see the shuttle locations.

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