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Multicultural groups host World Refugee Day event Saturday in Wausau

The World Refugee Day will feature food and entertainment from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 3:45 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wausau will host its first event in support of World Refugee Day. It will be held Saturday in downtown Wausau. In central Wisconsin, the refugee population as grown in recent years. The Ethiopian Community Development Council now plans to make it an annual event.

World Refugee Day is an international day designated to recognize refugees around the globe. Several local multicultural groups are working together on an event to celebrate diversity in the greater Wausau area.

“We’re excited to have our first-ever multicultural collaboration here in Wausau,” said Adam VanNoord, Executive Director of the Wausau Refugee Resettlement Agency.

The Ethiopian Community Development Council and the American Hispanic Association are a few of the groups working together to host the event.

“In our area, there is diversity growing and it’s a two-way street,” said Tony Gonzalez, director of the American Hispanic Association.

Gonzalez said there is a need to show the community the good things about immigrants that are coming here to work and why they want to be a part of the fiber of our community and for the local community to start learning.

“The public is going to get to see for the first time, people from different backgrounds coming together to share their stories,” said VanNoord.

“So people can ask questions and really get information from the source, from the people that go through it, why they are here, why they come, why they want to become part of America,” said Gonzalez.

VanNoord said it may seem interesting to celebrate these situations because refugee situations are hard and the stories that they have are difficult. However, he said they want to acknowledge the hard but also focus on resilience and hope.

“Diversity is rich, diversity is delicious,’ said Gonzalez.

Delicious like the various food trucks they’ll have along with other festivities.

“On the Hispanic side, we are bringing in some entertainment. we are going to have a live DJ that’s going to be playing a lot of good salsa, meringue, all kinds of music,” said Gonzalez.

There will also be salsa dancing lessons, bouncy houses, henna and more on the 400 Block.

The event starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m. It’s a family-friendly event and all are welcome.

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