A Heads-Up from the RefugeeFEST Committee:
On June 23rd, Tucson and the world come together in celebration of World Refugee Day with the 4th annual Tucson World RefugeeFEST & Soccer Tournament to be held at the Maracana Indoor Sports Arena, 555 E. 18th Street, a couple of blocks east of Armory Park Historic Residential Neighborhood. We invite the Armory Park Neighborhood Association and all of your members, residents and families to join us for this delightful cultural event.
This wonderful day of celebration through sport, cultural exchange, music, food and dance is free and open to all. (a $1 or any level donation is suggested). We anticipate 1,000 – 1,500 people will attend this event based on the participation at past Festivals.
Most of the attendees will be taking free shuttles or public transportation. Others will be directed to parking lots and street parking east of the Maracana facility.
There will be a two ethnic food vendors and a small seating area outside of the Maracana building on the west side of the building, which will also feature the Pima County Bookmobile, Tucson Fire Department truck, American Red Cross and other community groups providing educational exhibits.
Most of the day’s activities will take place inside the Maracana Arena’s 30,000 sq. ft. building, where we will hold an all-refugee Soccer tournament starting at 9am, and cultural activities including folk music & dance
Mladen Kovak, Owner/Operator of Maracana (and himself a Bosnian refugee), is proud to host this event and soccer tournament and is on our planning committee.
Exhibitors will include Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, our presenting sponsor, and Somali Bantu Association of Tucson, AZ, our fiscal sponsor, along with La Frontera Arizona, Learning A-Z, Peace Corps, United Nations-UNICEF, Iskashitaa, International Rescue Committee, Catholic Social Services and a wide range of cultural exhibitors, artists, and the newest residents of our community. The USCIS is holding a special Citizenship Oath ceremony at 3pm and Mayor Rothschild and Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias will welcome the newest citizens of Tucson.
There will be limited impact on the Armory Park neighborhood, since most of the activities will be indoors, and we are making arrangements for parking with the business owners east of Jacobus Avenue & Toole to accommodate public parking and will have ample signs and volunteers directing people to park in those areas, thus avoiding congestion in the permit parking/residential areas of Armory Park Neighborhood.
Free shuttle vans will be provided all day to and from the Downtown SunTran Ronstadt Transit Center, utilizing 18th and 6th Avenue, for SunTran bus riders. We are also providing free ‘FESTIVAL FUN BUS’ roundtrip shuttles all day for refugee community members from the main apartments in mid-town where many of the families who will participate are living, since many of them do not have cars, have limited transportation options, and since there is limited public transportation directly to the Maracana Indoor Sports Arena. These shuttles will approach the Maracana facility from the east off Park Avenue, on 18th street, avoiding the Armory Park neighborhood.
We want to assure Armory Park neighbors that we will be good neighbors for this one-day event and if you have any concerns, questions or would like to participate with an Armory Park Neighborhood table at the Festival, please feel free to call me.
Please share my name and number with your Neighbors if they have any questions.
Members of the Organizing committee are copied.