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Living Traditions Festival

Living Traditions Festival organizer Casey Jarman has been planning one of Salt Lake City’s longest-running and most vibrant festivals for 26 years now. What gets him excited year after year? It’s all about the people. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with some of the people I only see once a year,” he says. Those folks are Ecuadorian, Samoan, Mexican, Polish, Greek and representatives of many ethnic backgrounds. The city’s cultural base isn’t large in numbers compared to other metropolitan areas but is vibrant and diverse. Each culture brings costumes, traditional songs and invigorating dances to the festival (Voice of Africa, performing Sunday night, is pictured). Throughout the weekend, many artists display their talents, while vendors sell delicious fare at the food market. The craft market offers ethnic merchandise, and several artisans in residence will demonstrate crafts like Navajo basket making or the creation of Sudanese clay bulls—both new this year. The cooking demonstrations and other workshops were cut for budgetary reasons, but the bocce ball court is still hoppin’. “It’s fun at a festival to have something you can participate in,” Jarman says. New performers this year are Andean Chaskis, German Chorus Harmonie, Tagaloa Polynesian Dance Troupe and more. National touring acts—including Boukman Eksperyans, Bomba Estereo and Vieux Farka Toure (see p. 38)—will round out the weekend. (Austen Diamond) Living Traditions Festival @ Washington Square, Salt Lake City & County Building, 450 S. 200 East, 801-596-5000, May 20-22, free. LivingTraditions.com

Date: May 20, 2011
Phone: 801-535-6333
Address: 451 S. State, Salt Lake City, 84111
Where: City & County Building
 
 
 
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