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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tucson Celebrates WORLD REFUGEE DAY with International Soccer and Festival
TUCSON WORLD REFUGEEFEST 2012
June 23, 2012 9am – 9pm
Maracana Indoor Sports Arena 555 E. 18th Street, Tucson, AZ 85701
FREE admission, $1 (or any amount) donation greatly appreciated
9am National Bank of Arizona Refugee Soccer Tournament, Learning A-Z Kids Corral & Ethnic Food Vendors open
2pm Refugee Global Village & Exhibitors open
TLC World Stage programming:
2pm Global DJ
2:30pm Arizona Symphonic Winds
3pm Proclamations and USCIS Citizenship Ceremony
4pm Balkan Spirit – Gypsy, Balkan, Middle Eastern music
5pm Refugee Talent Show – dance, music, poetry from Burundi, Somalia, Bhutan and more
6pm Faraz Zein – Iranian/Flamenco guitarist
7pm Balkan Spirit
8pm Soccer Awards & Peace Corps Dance Party
9pm Festival closed
Tucson and the world come together June 23rd at the 4th Annual Tucson World RefugeeFEST 2012 with presenting sponsor Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest for a free all-day family event in celebration of United Nations World Refugee Day. The event will be held at Maracana Indoor Sports Arena from 9am – 9pm beginning with National Bank of AZ Refugee Soccer Tournament with refugee teams from all over Arizona competing for top honors.
Activities include the Learning A-Z Kids Corral and the Refugee Global Village featuring cultural exhibits, arts & crafts, games, ethnic foods, and displays from refugee community groups and services providers.
TLC Communications is underwriting the World Stage performances beginning at 2pm featuring; the Arizona Symphonic Winds conducted by Hungarian immigrant Laslo Veres; Balkan Spirit led by Bulgarian refugee Anton Sherkejiev playing gypsy-balkan-middle eastern music; Faraz Zein, Iranian-Flamenco guitar; West African drumming, and a refugee talent showcase. Peace Corps Global DJ dance music will bring the world together in a celebratory dance party to round out the evening and honor the Soccer tournament participants.
At 3pm a special Citizenship Ceremony will be held by USCIS, the United States Citizen & Immigration Services. The Oath of Allegiance will be taken by refugee youth. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias will welcome the newest Tucson citizens. The USCIS will host an information table where festival attendees can take the US Citizenship quiz. Attendees can learn to speak one of 50 different languages in the Refugee Global Village. The Western Passport Center will provide information on how to obtain a passport for international travel.
These activities provide our community an opportunity to have fun and share their cultural heritage while engaging Tucsonans in both local and global humanitarian issues.
About World Refugee Day
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in 2001, designated June 20th as World Refugee Day to acknowledge the resilience and strength of refugees. Tucson has become a safe haven for more than 11,000 refugees who have started new lives free from persecution. World Refugee Day honors their remarkable courage and amazing spirit. Last year the events attracted about 2,000 attendees.