From the “Once upon a time…” beginnings of childhood to the “… and that’s when she broke up with me,” endings that are all too familiar to college students, nothing engages the imagination like a good story. We can’t avoid them -?stories are the basis for everything from movies to job applications. And Orem is home to the nation’s second largest storytelling event, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival.

In its 20th year, the popular Festival is taking place Sept. 3-5. And while the festival is very family friendly (a phrase usually a turn-off with college students), there really is something for everyone.

Horror movie enthusiasts and guys wanting to prove to their girlfriends how tough they are should check out “Shivers in the Night,” a group performance on Friday evening devoted entirely to scary stories. Those who are more easily frightened (or who need to recover) can attend “Laughin’ Night” on Saturday, where premiere storytellers will have the audience in tears.

Naturally, musical storytelling will be represented at the festival as well. Of special interest is “Side-by-Side,” a husband and wife act in which John McCutcheon and Carmen Agra Deedy combine storytelling with folk music.

In addition to listening to the tall tales of others, there will also be plenty of opportunities for attendees to perfect their own crafts. Workshops will be offered on how to tell stores ranging from historical accounts to tall tales, and hopefully on how to tell the difference.

Tickets are available for either the full event, one day or for each of the evening performances. Family passes and children’s tickets are also available. Visit to learn more about the Festival, view a schedule of events and to purchase tickets.