Showcasing Utah's diverse cultures will take center stage this weekend at the Salt Lake American Muslim Cultural Festival, which organizers hope will attract Utahns of all stripes.
From Japanese Taiko drummers to Irish dances, the festival is designed to bring Utah's diverse cultures together, says organizer Ghulam Hasnain.
"The unmistakable theme for the event is mutual understanding," Hasnain says. "It's more than just feel-good. It's getting to know each other better."
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon will join ethnic and political leaders in kicking off the festival 3 p.m. Saturday at Washington Square, 451 S. 200 East. Vendor booths open at noon, and entertainment starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to multi-ethnic performing artists, food and children's activities, there also will be educational events at the Salt Lake City Library Auditorium on Saturday, including a 10 a.m. free screening of the film "The Message," about the origins of Islam.
At 1:30 p.m., there will be a presentation by Alice Rothchild, author of "Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience." Rothchild, a Jewish-American physician, co-organized the Jewish Voice for Peace Health and Human Rights Project.