Boise Celebrates World Refugee Day 

Saturday, June 23

Every Saturday morning, the Capital City Public Market sprawls through downtown Boise's streets and encompasses Boise's crafty and fresh-food-driven culture. But Saturday, June 23, will highlight cultures from Sudan, Congo, Somalia and elsewhere for Boise's celebration of World Refugee Day.

From 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., refugees will bring ethnic food and cultural performances, as well as sell things they've made or brought from their home countries to Grove Plaza.

Dances, songs, poetry and storytelling make up the annual festival, which began sharing the farmers market in 2008. One new performance taking place this year is a series of three puppet shows put on by refugees from the English Language Learning Center and Family Literacy Center. The shows will act out African and American folklore throughout the day.

Boise is seen as a safe haven for refugees. Kara Fink, communications specialist at the Idaho Office for Refugees, said that's because Boise is a smaller city in a safe location, with a welcoming community.

Relocating to a safe home as a refugee can be an incredibly complicated and long process, Fink said. The process takes into consideration the imminence of danger and persecution.

But Fink said she's excited for the event, which is held the Saturday nearest the internationally recognized World Refugee Day, observed June 20 each year.

"It's a fabulous opportunity for all Boiseans to get to know each other and get to know their new neighbors, and get to sort of appreciate the things that refugees have brought—the pieces of their culture that have increased the diversity here in Boise," Fink said.

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