SALT LAKE CITY

Utah Asian Festival ‘a success’ after attracting over 20,000 attendees

Jul 11, 2022, 9:14 AM | Updated: 9:59 am

Two people dance while a crowd watches at the Utah Asian Festival...

Jus and Fitri Sutansyah dance a traditional Indonesian dance during the annual Asian Festival at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 9, 2022. Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — Organizers of the 45th Annual Utah Asian Festival called the event a huge success after receiving more than 20,000 attendees on Saturday.

Utah Asian Festival Chair Eunice Lane said that while this event was solely in celebration, she hoped it would send a larger message.

“I would like the community to always be open-minded because we have given so much to our thriving economy and we would like to be part of this growing community in the state,” Lane said.

Lane said she felt the event was such a success thanks to “new blood.” Lane credited young committee members and volunteers for bringing in new excitement and ideas.

Volunteer Greg Chung said he hoped the celebration helped show exactly how beautifully diverse the Asian community really is.

“There are a lot of times Asians get compartmentalized into just one Asian [culture]. But there’s so many different cultures within Asian culture… everyone is so different; just because we’re Asian doesn’t mean we’re all the same,” Chung said.

Organizers said the festival served as a healing space for the community to celebrate resilience after a stressful two years of experiencing pandemic blame and increasing hate crimes.

“Yum Yum” food truck owner Ben Pierce attended the festival and said he’s grateful for the community’s support in helping his business come back after the truck was vandalized with racial slurs a year ago.

“Despite all of that, the support from everybody has been great. Even now, a year later, we’re still getting hugs, honks from everybody, thumbs-up,” Pierce said.

One of the festival founders, Margaret Yee, said these types of events serve as a way to replace hate with love and education.

“Because of the misunderstanding, if we educate more, the world will be more peaceful,” Yee said.

Related: Big transportation projects coming to Salt Lake City after receiving $15.6 million

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Utah Asian Festival ‘a success’ after attracting over 20,000 attendees