The Living Traditions Festival returns to Washington and Library Square

“We Are All Living Traditions.” Help preserve and continue the folk and ethnic traditions of our diverse community.

The Living Traditions Festival supports the diverse artistic traditions and perspectives through the presentation of both historical and contemporary customs, facilitating thoughtful conversations about the unique qualities of various cultures, and the similarities of the human experience, while creating bonds among community members. By preserving the cultural traditions of their community, Living Traditions artists make a great contribution to our sense of place and help demonstrate Salt Lake City as a diverse and vibrant place to live. Admission is free for all event attendees, which brings together over 90 cultures that have made Salt Lake City their home.


The traditional performances of music and dance provide a rich array of rhythm, movement, instruments, and vocals that engage the audience. Music and dance are often at the heart of cultural expressions found in every community, developed for celebratory, sacred and daily occasions. The performances also represent all ages, connecting the generations. These performing groups commit to preserving the traditional songs and dance of their respective communities and spend many hours in classes, rehearsal, and preparation.


The food market is a multicultural dining adventure, offering the traditional foods of various ethnic communities. One of the most anticipated elements of the Festival are the food vendors which are organized by local businesses, non-profits, and community groups who use the proceeds earned at the festival to re-invest in their year-round cultural programming, such as classes, workshops, performances and festivals. For the volunteer cooks, as well as family and community members who assist, the Food Market provides the opportunity to gather and share their most delectable food traditions with everyone who attends the festival. The food market also serves as an incubator for small businesses.


Exceptional examples of traditional crafts are created on-site by masters of their respective art forms. These craft artists have acquired the skills and techniques that are passed down through generations or learned through apprenticeships and demonstrate traditional crafts, materials, and techniques. Artists often share the history of the art form, as well as how they became interested in it. The traditional materials and techniques are part of the story as well. Many of the Living Traditions craft demonstrators have been recognized with awards for excellence.