LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville leaders made sure refugees felt welcome in the city on Thursday as part of World Refugee Day.

The day was full of cultural performances, international food and music at Shawnee Park.

City leaders say, despite tension at the U.S.-Mexico border, people in the Louisville community want refugees to know they're important.

Kentucky Representative Jim Wayne, of Louisville, says this event honors people who fled their countries to build new lives in a new country.

"When you hear hatred -- when you hear bigotry against people who are new to this country -- you need to stand up and be proud that God made you in his image and that, 'No, I'm lovable and I know there are people in Kentucky that welcome me." Rep. Wayne said.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer echoed the sentiment.

"For our folks here that were not born in the United States of America, as usual, I want to say welcome!" Fischer said. "You guys are the soul and the future of our city. It's important that our kids that live here are as comfortable growing up in Louisville as they would be in Nairobi, or Capetown or Hong Kong. So you guys do a tremendous, good service to our citizens. I just ask that you have your brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and tell them what a great, welcoming city Louisville is and ask them to come and live here in our city and help us grow the great city of Louisville."

Catholic Charities organized the event.

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