Press Release
June 9, 2023

World Refugee Day to celebrate Utah’s 65,000 refugees
Thousands to join the celebration on the heels of unprecedented resettlement in the state

SALT LAKE CITY (June 10, 2023) — Utahns will celebrate the state’s 65,000 refugees during World Refugee Day June 16 and 17 at Big Cottonwood Regional Park (4300 S. 1300 E., Millcreek). Families can enjoy free activities, music and entertainment, storytelling, a global market and cuisine from around the world.

“This marks our 19th year hosting World Refugee Day and it comes on the heels of record resettlement numbers in Utah,” said Mario Kljajo, director of the Refugee Services Office. “I can’t think of a better time to get together, celebrate, connect with and learn about individuals who have just arrived and those who have been here for years.” 

Festivities start Friday, June 16, at 6 p.m. with food, music and family activities. On Saturday, June 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., events include refugee youth soccer and volleyball tournaments, “around the world” booths to learn about countries and cultures, and more food and shopping from refugee vendors. 

A variety of refugee-run food businesses and food trucks will share their global cuisine including:

  • Delicius (Venezuelan)
  • Falafel Al Jailawi (Middle Eastern and Iraqi)
  • Fresh N Fried (American Classics)
  • Jamaica’s Kitchen (Jamaican) 
  • Kafé Mamai (African-Caribbean)
  • Namash (Swahili)
  • Noor Al Sham (Shawarma and Syrian)
  • Mama Africa (Congolese) 
  • Mother of All (Sudanese)
  • Water Wheel Kitchen (Egyptian, Jordanian, Lebanese and Syrian)
  • Zakho Kurdish Cuisine (Kurdish)

World Refugee Day is presented in partnership with refugee, community and business organizations, including VentureOut! More information is at or