Timpanogos Storytelling Festival

A gathering of some of the best yarn spinners in the world

The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is held annually on the weekend after Labor Day at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. Drawing an audience of thousands each year, it has become the largest storytelling festival in the western United States. For two days and three nights, professional storytellers gather with listeners both young and old for multi-day celebrations of music and merriment, but mostly stories. In addition to daytime performances on Friday and Saturday, themed public performances are held in the evenings. Before the Festival begins, attendees may also attend the Timpanogos Storytelling Conference held on Thursday, presented by some of the Festival’s featured storytellers and other experts.

From a humble beginning, the Festival has grown steadily each year. In addition to the Festival, Timpanogos Storytelling Institute also hosts the annual Timpanogos Storytelling Conference, the National Youth Storytelling program, Storytelling in the Classroom (a year-round educational outreach program for public and private school students), and year-round storytelling concerts and contests. Check out the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival YouTube Channel which reaches story lovers around the globe in ways no one could have imagined 30 years ago.


In 1989, Karen Ashton, President of the Friends of the Orem Public Library, was dreaming of ways to promote community involvement and raise money for a new Children’s Library. When she visited the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee, she found thousands of story lovers crowding into tents, listening to dynamic performers relating tales of history, culture, folk, and family life.

A storytelling festival! The idea for which she had been searching! People could gather together and increase understanding by communicating through stories. The simple, old, community and family values—folks talking with each other and sharing in an active experience—not passive screen entertainment. The first Timpanogos Storytelling Festival debuted just eight months later in the Ashton’s yard.

The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival grows each year—both in audience size and prestige. The Festival and its organizers have received national media attention and awards and storytelling event organizers from around the nation attend the Timpanogos Festival for training. The Festival has garnered this reputation not only because of the great talent featured, but also because of the scenic setting, the amazing audiences, the extraordinary community support, and its excellence in organization.

Today, the Festival draws listeners from across the nation, Canada, and many other countries. Now at its new home at Thanksgiving Point, the Festival is able to accommodate all Festival events in one location—with plenty of parking, UTA access, and a magnificent amphitheater for evening events.

Education & Community Outreach

From that humble beginning we have grown steadily each year. In addition to the festival, we now support the annual Timpanogos Storytelling Conference and several storytelling contests. But it doesn’t stop there. We have expanded our influence to reach children in schools and youth across the country in ways we would have never imagined 29 years ago.

The Timpanogos Storytelling Institute promotes language and literacy in schools. We bring storytelling experiences to our children locally and throughout Utah. The school outreach program, supported by the Utah State Board of Education’s Professional Outreach Program in the Schools (POPS) and amazing sponsors, makes it possible for students to experience exceptional educational and cultural events. We have been able to place national storytellers in many schools for once-in-a-lifetime educational programs that students would never otherwise experience. In addition, at our Timpanogos Storytelling Conference and through the National Youth Storytelling Showcase (NYSS), the next generation of storytellers are learning the art of storytelling.

In January 2012, we formally incorporated as a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status and established the Timpanogos Storytelling Institute. Shortly afterward, we hired our first full-time employee. That March, we organized a board of directors. The board oversees 17 different committees comprised of hundreds of volunteers that give over 7,500 volunteer hours each year.

It is incredible to think that this amazing group of Timpanogos Storytelling volunteers have put on the Festival and all of its related programs for the past 29 years.

Timpanogos Storytelling YouTube Videos

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Timpanogos Storytelling Institute
5107 Edgewood Drive
Provo, UT 84604