LAYTON — There are a thousand ways to tell a story.
Weber State University wants to give residents the chance to explore each and every one of them with their upcoming Storytelling Festival, running Feb. 25-27 at the Davis Conference Center, the main WSU campus and other locations throughout Ogden and Layton.
Now in its 17th year, the festival has expanded to include new storytelling sessions and more activities exploring both the fun and serious sides of telling tales. Except for a banquet on Feb. 26, all events are free and open to the public.
“We have lots of good things this year,” said Storytelling Festival Chair Ann Ellis. “There are some really cool options all over.”
One of those options will be at the Davis Conference Center Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. Local storyteller Rachel Hedman will combine with the musical group Aspen Winds to talk about “Peter and the Wolf” and other storytelling music.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Ellis. “We love being at the Davis Conference Center. It just opens up our audience.”
Also on Feb. 27 will be the National Storytellers Concert, set to start at 7:30 p.m. at the Davis Conference Center. Kevin Cordi, Megan Hicks, David Novak and Beth Horner will all be sharing stories in Ballroom B.
“They’re some of the finest storytellers in the country,” said Ellis. “We’ve been tardy getting them to Utah.”
Other activities include a symposium on creation myths at 2 p.m. at the Stewart Library at WSU, and a telling of “Gilgamesh” by Novak at the same library at 3:15 p.m.
At the Student Union building in Ogden, there will be a Brown Bag Story Slam on Feb. 26 at12:30 p.m. Since it’s an open mic event, guests can get onstage and share their own stories. A complete schedule is available online at community.weber.edu/storytelling.
Davis County students will also get the chance to share their own stories. More than 30 of them will be among the student storytellers participating at different locations throughout the festival.
“Out of all the districts who help us out, Davis has the largest number of students,” said Ellis. “They’re good, and they keep getting better and better every year.”
Davis also contributes quite a few listeners to the festival. Organizers recently had to adjust the morning story sessions at the Davis Conference Center to accommodate 500 more listeners.
“There’s just so many schools who love coming,” said Ellis. “It’s a good problem to have.”