Weber State University’s 17th Annual Storytelling Festival will take place Feb. 25 and 27. The award-winning festival will include performances from national, local and student storytellers. The goal is to promote the art of storytelling in Northern Utah, said Ann Ellis, festival chair. Ellis noted that previous years have attracted thousands of attendees for both public and special events held at senior centers and schools. Each day during the three-day festival, nationally recognized storytellers Beth Horner, Kevin Cordi, Megan Hicks and David Novak will entertain audiences young and old. The festival will be held at various locations including Weber State University, Ogden Eccles Conference Center and Peery’s Egyptian Theater, as well as the Davis Conference Center in Layton, select local schools, and assisted living centers in Davis and Weber counties. Performances are free to the public with the exception of the Storytellers Banquet at Timbermine Restaurant and Steak House on Tuesday evening. Tickets for the banquet cost $60 per person, which includes dinner and storytelling by nationally known storytellers. The ticket proceeds are used to fund the festival and help keep it free to the public. Nationally recognized for its emphasis on youth storytellers, the festival will have about 70 children telling stories. School districts select the children who participate. We have research to show that children who engage in storytelling actually improve their reading comprehension, Ellis noted. The children get plenty of help to prepare. We have done a lot of work with the school districts to provide workshops to help teachers teach children how to tell stories, Ellis said. While events are free with the exception of the banquet, donations are welcome. Anyone interested in attending the banquet should contact Lynda Goucher at 801-626-6728 to purchase tickets. For more information, including biographies of the featured storytellers and schedules, visit weber.edu/storytelling.