Varied cultures, lifestyles, and religions? Salt Lake has 'em. Salt Lake has a rich and celebrated diversity that surprises many first-time visitors, with events and festivals highlighting the many groups which, together, enjoy the wonders of all that the "Crossroads of the West" has to offer. Throughout the year, locals and visitors alike can enjoy a lengthy list of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic events, from Pioneer Days, which features one of the largest and oldest parades in the nation, to one of the West's largest Pride Festivals, from the Salt Lake Greek Festival to various Cinco de Mayo and Pacific Island celebrations, and many others.
Salt Lake has a vibrant and active local gay community and was recently named the #1 Gayest City in America
by The Advocate in 2012. The annual three-day Utah Pride Festival, featuring numerous events and festivities in downtown Salt Lake, draws tens of thousands of both gay and straight people to celebrate the diverse lifestyles and multicultural make-up of Salt Lake and the state of Utah. Utah Pride Festival is a program of the Utah Pride Center
, a community-based organization that provides support, education, outreach and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their allies, through programs, services and resources.
Visit Salt Lake is a member of IGLTA.
Read more about LGBTQ-friendly Salt Lake
Shortly after the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869 at Promontory Summit on the north side of the Great Salt Lake, mass migration of various ethnic groups, including Chinese, Japanese, Greek and Central European, settled in the growing Salt Lake Valley. Adding to the influx of multi-cultural inhabitants was the discovery of silver and gold in the nearby Wasatch Mountains towering over the city, driving yet more settlers into the mining towns and into Salt Lake. More recently, Salt Lake has experienced significant demographic shifts. Hispanics now account for approximately 22% of residents, while the Asian population makes up approximately 4.5% and the Pacific Islander population, mainly comprised of Samoans and Tongans, represent roughly 2% of the population of Salt Lake.
The NAACP Salt Lake Branch provides a valuable resource for Salt Lake's multiculturally diverse population. Their purpose is to improve the political, educational, social, and economic status of minority groups with the goal to eliminate racial prejudice while keeping the public aware of the adverse effects of racial discrimination along with taking lawful action to secure its elimination.
Find out more about the NAACP Salt Lake Branch
Diversity census data for the Salt Lake metro region
Salt Lake County multicultural resources
Salt Lake City multicultural resources
Widely known is the fact that Salt Lake City is the world-wide headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). But Mormons are only part of the story of religion in Utah. Catholic priests and explorers were the first Europeans in the state, preceded by generations of Native American tribes, primarily Ute, Paiute and Shoshone. Today, Salt Lake is home to Jews and Muslims, Buddhists (including a prominent colony of Tibetan Buddhists), numerous Protestant denominations, Wiccans, Pagans and plenty of people who prefer to spend their ‘church' time in the great outdoors. All live in a model of religious diversity and interfaith cooperation.
Churches in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake Directory of Religious Centers
Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable
Following is a partial list of Salt Lake area faiths:
Assemblies of God
Southside Church of Christ
Community of Christ
Evangelical Free Foursquare Gospel
Islamic Society of Salt Lake City
Eastern Orthodox Pentecostal
United Church of Christ