Our country as we know it today was created by immigrants, and we love to celebrate our diverse cultures with festivals. What better way to come together than through entertainment, parades…and food (lots and lots of delicious food)! Utah has many ethnic festivals throughout the year. This article will explore the festivals that are taking place from May 19th through October. Mark them on your calendar now!
1. Living Traditions Festival: May 19-21
The Living Traditions Festival celebrates all the ethnic communities that live and work in Salt Lake. It's held on May 19th, 20th, and 21st at the Salt Lake City & County Building and Library Square in downtown Salt Lake City. Hours are Friday form 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Saturday noon to 10:00 pm; Sunday noon to 7:00 pm. Admission is free!
2. Scandinavian Heritage Festival: May 26th and 27th
The Scandinavian Heritage Festival is held every year in Ephraim, over Memorial weekend. The festival includes a 5k, car show, parade and Vike on a Bike event. The Little Scandinavian Dinner is served on Friday at 6:00 pm at the Greenwood Student Center at Snow College $13/adults; $8/children.
3. Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games: June 9 - 11
Utah's Scottish Festival & Highland Games has grown to be such a huge event that the Utah Scottish Association has moved it to the Utah State Fairgrounds this year. Enjoy all the pomp and circumstance that the Scots bring to the party, including, of course, plenty of kilts and bagpipes. Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door.
4. Payson Scottish Festival: July 7th and 8th
Payson hosts a large Scottish Festival every July that includes pipe and drums, storytelling, Highland games, Highland dance and more. Opening ceremonies and Massed Bands Saturday at noon.
5. NACIP Powwow and Festival: July 24th
Native Americans were Utah's first residents, and this powwow and festival honors their diverse traditions. It's held at Liberty Park, where you'll enjoy arts and crafts vendors, delicious food, and tons of dancing.
6. Mega Peruvian Festival Utah: July 28th and 29th
This year marks the Peruvian Festival's 6th year, and the party will be tons of fun. It's held at Library Square, where you'll meet international artists, dancers and storytellers. And, of course...you'll find some tasty Peruvian food.
7. Utah Pacific Island Heritage Month Kick-Off: July 29th
August is Utah Pacific Island Heritage Month, and the community celebrates with a huge kick-off event at the Sorenson Center in Salt Lake City on July 29th. This huge party includes plenty of traditional dancing, music and tons of delicious food.
8. Oktoberfest: August 12 - October 15
Oktoberfest draws 60,000 people to Snowbird every year. The festival runs every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6:00 pm, starting on August 12th and going through October 15th. Enjoy delicious German food, dancing and entertainment, and of course, beer.
9. Wasatch International Food Festival: August 18th and 19th
Bring your appetite to the Wasatch International Food Festival in West Valley City on August 18th and 19th. You'll find cuisine from many different cultures and countries. It's held at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center at 1355 W. 3100 S.
10. Midway Swiss Days: September 1st and 2nd
Utahns come from all corners of the state to celebrate Midway Swiss Days every Labor Day weekend. You don't want to miss the parade, 10k, food and craft vendors, music and dance.
11. Salt Lake City Greek Festival: September 9 - 11
Everyone knows that the annual Greek Festival means fun, dancing and tons of delicious food. Admission is $3 per person. It's held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, 279 S. 300 W., Salt Lake City.
12. Festa Italiana: September 16th and 17th
This Italian celebration takes place at Gateway. You'll want to spend the entire day watching the live entertainment and music, and of course, sampling tons of Italian food.