Boise will join cities around the globe on Saturday in celebrating World Refugee Day with a family friendly festival where Boiseans can meet their new neighbors, learn about refugees’ native countries and celebrate the contributions refugees bring to our community. Singing, dancing, and theatrical performances will take place on the stage throughout the day. Visitors can indulge in Somali, Uzbeki and Egyptian food and shop for gifts from refugee vendors selling art and handmade baskets, jewelry, dolls and more.
The free event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Grove Plaza near 8th and Main streets in conjunction with the Capital City Public Market.
At 11 a.m., 20 refugees from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bosnia‐Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Laos, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia and Uzbekistan will become American citizens during a special ceremony. Boise Mayor David Bieter will serve as the ceremony’s main speaker.
Idaho welcomed 691 refugees in 2012 from 20 countries, including Congo, Burma, and Afghanistan. These refugees, who were forced to flee their homelands, are rebuilding their lives here in Idaho.
World Refugee Day, a United Nations initiative since 2001, uses art and performance to counter fear and ignorance and bring attention to the plight of millions of refugees around the world.