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Stuffed cabbage from Serbia, dumplings from Bhutan and meat skewers with the flavors of Peru are some of the new foods guests can try during the 32nd annual Living Traditions Festival this weekend in downtown Salt Lake City.

In all, there will be 17 food booths, representing countries from around the globe including China, Colombia, Italy, Lebanon and Vietnam, said Jesse Schaefer, a program manager for the Salt Lake City Arts Council, which sponsors the event.

"Music, dancing and crafts draw many people to the festival, but in the end, food is absolutely a key component," Schaefer said. "People are always excited about what is served, and food is the easiest way to connect to other cultures."

The dishes aren't prepared by restaurants or professional chefs, but rather cooks from area churches and community groups, many of whom use family recipes from their native country to create the menu.

New this year will be Serbian food prepared by Saint Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church; Himalayan specialties from the Bhutanese Community in Utah; and Peruvian dishes from the Latino Arts Foundation.

Returning favorites include Southeast Asian specialties from the Thai Buddhist Temple, Euskadi food from the Basque Club of Utah and American Indian fare prepared by Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake.

All proceeds go to the nonprofit groups and help fund programs throughout the year. —

This three-day festival, now in its 32nd year, celebrates Utah's cultural diversity, offering more than 80 music and dance performances, 30 master craftspeople, 17 food vendors and a children's area with hands-on opportunities to explore different cultural traditions. Visit for a full schedule of events and offerings.

When • Friday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 7 p.m.

Where • Salt Lake City Library and Washington Square, 450 S. 200 East.

Admission • Free

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