Utah Asian Festival returns; organizers hope for around 25,000 as event keeps growing

A Chinese dragon head is displayed during the annual Asian Festival at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on July 9, 2022. The Utah Asian Festival returns on Saturday.

A Chinese dragon head is displayed during the annual Asian Festival at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on July 9, 2022. The Utah Asian Festival returns on Saturday. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)


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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Asian Festival returns on Saturday, and organizers are hoping for a record-breaking crowd as the event keeps on growing.

The event, now in its 47th incarnation, will feature food, performances and vendors representing a cross-section of countries and cultures of Asia, from China to India to Cambodia to the Philippines, to name a few.

"We're there about culture," said Emilio Manuel Camu, chairman of the event. He said attendance in recent years has surpassed 20,000, and organizers this year are hoping for 25,000 visitors.

The free event goes from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and will be held in and around the Grand Building at the Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West in Salt Lake City. Parking at the Fairpark is $15, though transportation to the site is free via the Utah Transit Authority system for those who get a free online admission ticket to the event.

"This festival not only connects new Americans, immigrants and refugees to the more historic ethnic groups in our state but also brings our diverse ethnic communities together," reads the Utah Asian Festival website. The Asian community in Utah numbers around 120,000, Manuel Camu said, led by those of Chinese and Filipino descent followed by those of Indian, Vietnamese and Japanese descent.

The annual festival is an initiative of the Asian Association of Utah, which aids refugees from around the globe.

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Tim Vandenack covers immigration, multicultural issues and Northern Utah for KSL.com. He worked several years for the Standard-Examiner in Ogden and has lived and reported in Mexico, Chile and along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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