Brazil comes to Utah County

Members of the community celebrate Brazil’s culture and independence at the Utah Brazilian Festival in 2019. (David Terry)

Viva Brazil Cultural Center is holding the 17th annual Utah Brazilian Festival this Saturday. 

The festival will be from 1-7 p.m. at the University Place mall in Orem. It will kick off with a big samba parade followed by many activities. The festival will include traditional Brazilian food, live music and dancing. 

The Brazilian community celebrates their independence on Sept. 7. This festival is meant to be a celebration of this independence and Brazilian culture. 

Festival director Matilde Wosnjuk said the event offers a chance for many native Brazilians to remember their roots and celebrate their heritage. Wosnjuk, 52, grew up in São Paulo and moved to the United States when she was 28. 

“We are very connected as a community. Many people who come here have a very hard time getting back for many reasons, so this is their chance to experience Brazil,” Wosnjuk said.

Wosnjuk also said it’s important for new generations to learn the traditions of their ancestors and embrace them. “The children and the youth can see the culture of their parents and grandparents. That is one of the main reasons why we do this.”

Using information gathered in previous years, Viva Brazil Cultural Center estimates there will be from 8,000 to 10,000 people in attendance this year. 

Viva Brazil Cultural Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public of Brazilian life and traditions. The group sponsors the Utah Brazilian Festival along with many other events.

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