Festival welcomes newly naturalized citizens to Knoxville


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – The Office of Immigrant Services, a program of Catholic charities in eastern Tennessee, will host a public welcome festival in Knoxville to celebrate new citizens Saturday June 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Suttree Landing Park.

“Becoming a US citizen is an incredible milestone that deserves to be celebrated. We are delighted to partner with Old Navy and the CCETN in celebrating our new American neighbors, just in time for July 4th, ”said Lola Pak, Director of Communications at Welcoming America.

Local immigrant-owned businesses like Yassin’s Falafel House, Bida Saigon, Sitar Indian Cuisine, and Enjoy Latin Food Truck will receive free food. The Candela Latin Music Band, originally from Knoxville, will perform salsa and there will be places where participants can dance. Bridge Refugee Services, Centro Hispano and HomeSource will also be on hand to provide information resources to participants.

“After a long year of isolation due to the pandemic, this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate immigrants and their new life in the United States together,” said Alessandra Ceccarelli, OIS program manager. “As a recently naturalized citizen myself, I understand how great it is to become a citizen and feel a part of this amazing country. The community of Knoxville should wholeheartedly welcome all new citizens and those who are on the right track to achieving this goal. “


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