Enjoy a celebration of community and culture Saturday at the Columbia celebration of World Refugee Day.
World Refugee Day, which is June 20, is an international day meant to honor refugees around the world. The 2022 theme is Whoever. Wherever. Whenever. Everyone has the right to seek safety. Hosted by Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO) and City of Refuge, the free Columbia celebration is set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday at Cosmo Park. According to a news release, the celebration was set for Saturday, instead of the actual date of June 20, in order to involve as many community members as possible.
“Refugees bring so many gifts to their new homes in mid-Missouri, and their strength and resilience deserve celebration,” Dan Lester, executive director of CCCNMO, said in the release. “We hope for a great turnout this at the World Refugee Day celebration that promises to be the biggest and best yet.”
The celebration will include catered food, food trucks, bounce houses, face painting, henna booths, cultural music and dance performances, resource booths and more. Both organizations have hosted separate events in the past for World Refugee Day and anticipate 500 or more attendees Saturday, according to the release.
“This celebration is a significant event for our community because it raises awareness of refugees, who have been part of our community for decades, shifting the narrative and breaking down barriers to become a visual representation of a community interwoven,” Lacy Stroessner, community sponsorship coordinator for CCCNMO, said in the release.
Organizers have been seeking volunteers to help with the event. For more information or to volunteer, check out the event page on Facebook.