Mark Hausam came to the festival from Orem with his wife and six children. He said they enjoy cultural events and attend the Scottish Festival regularly as well.
"I have a general interest in other religions and cultures," he said. "We all do. ... We enjoy the food, the dancing, it's just everything — the atmosphere."
A taste of Brazil
A few blocks east, crowds gathered to take in the eighth annual Utah Brazilian Festival at the Gallivan Center. Many visitors there had ties to Brazil, whether they were born there, served LDS Church missions there or had spouses from Brazil.
With each member of her family garbed in Brazil's colors of yellow, green and blue, Sheila Ballard took in the live music and dancing. She had already taken part in what was the personal highlight, the samba parade in which she performed.
The event allows her to introduce her children to the spirit of her home country and she has taken part in it for the past five years.
"It's kind of one day a year where you can party all day, try good food — I think it's very fun," she said. "Everybody can dance and have fun."
The festival ran from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and featured a samba parade, live music, Braizilian food and dancing. There was no entrance fee, but plenty of lively music to entice visitors.
"If you're Brazilian or not, I think everyone should know about other cultures," public relations director Shirlei Domingues said. "The Brazilian people are known for their happiness, their energy. Life is hard, but here we are dealing with it and we're happy. Here you feel the energy, you feel the happiness."
Andy Lundin said this was the third year he attended the festival, driving up from St. George to do so at the behest of his wife, a native Brazilian.
"It makes my wife happy," he said. "She likes it because she gets to meet up with friends."
As a returned missionary from the country, though, he said he looks forward to the food and music while his wife loves to dance. Each year, he said, the event seems to be growing.
"It's a good mixture of everybody," he said. "It's like a little part of Brazil."
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