SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Thousands of people gathered in Salt Lake City on Saturday to celebrate different cultures during the 32nd annual Living Traditions Festival.
Take a trip around the world without leaving SLC. Thousands attend Living Traditions Festival. More at 10 @abc4utahhttps://t.co/mlhhpEHDd3 pic.twitter.com/VtKYXvZYHO— Brittany (@BJohnsonABC4) May 21, 2017
The free, three-day event, exposes Utahns to traditional music, dance, foods, and crafts of the ethnic communities that make Salt Lake their home.
“It’s unbelievable how many different cultural communities we have in Salt Lake City, and they were intimate for many years — didn’t share their traditions — but when this festival started 32 years ago, the idea was to bring all of these groups out to the public so we can appreciate who we are,” said Craig Miller, Performing Arts Director, who has been with the Living Traditions Festival since the beginning.
In addition to just coming out to have a good time, festival organizers say it’s important to “bridge the gaps and create opportunities to unite and learn from each other.”
“Learn cultures — embrace them so you’re not considered ignorant. Then you can walk out there and just be cool with whatever you see,” said Emma Shekia, one of many festival goers.
“I love that it’s diversity and honoring people’s traditions and giving people a chance to connect with other cultures and have an appreciation for them,” added Linda Waters, who has attended the festival for many years.
Catherine Cabe told ABC4 Utah that she wanted to bring her 7-year-old son, Colin, to the festival to get a better understanding of other cultures.
“It was the number one reason why I’m here,” said Cabe.
Colin said he loved learning about African dances.
The Living Traditions Festival shows “…the diversity of Utah, which I don’t think anyone thinks we are very diverse but we are,” explained Sue Gerber who attends the festival every year.
The diversity seen is something one person visiting the festival from out of town enjoyed.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve seen quite a lot of different types of cultures and I appreciate that and I like that,” explained Charles Bradley, in town from Michigan. “I like what I see so much, I plan to move here.”
The festival continues through Sunday night at 7:00. Click here to see a full list of events.