KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Office of Immigrant Services, a Catholic Charities of East Tennessee program, will host a public Welcoming Knoxville Festival to celebrate newly naturalized citizens on Saturday, June 26 from 11 am until 2 pm at Suttree Landing Park.

“Becoming a U.S. citizen is an incredible milestone worthy of celebration. We are thrilled to partner with Old Navy and CCETN in celebrating our new American neighbors, just in time for the Fourth of July,” said Lola Pak, communications director at Welcoming America.

Local, immigrant-owned businesses, like Yassin’s Falafel House, Bida Saigon, Sitar Indian Cuisine, and the Enjoy Latin Food Truck, will be provided complimentary food. Knoxville-native Candela Latin Music Band will perform salsa music and there will be places for attendees to dance. Bridge Refugee Services, Centro Hispano, and HomeSource will also be onsite to provide informational resources to attendees.

“After a long year of isolation due to the pandemic, it is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate immigrants and their new lives in the US together,” said Alessandra Ceccarelli, OIS Program Leader. “As a recently naturalized citizen myself, I understand what a tremendous accomplishment it is to become a citizen and feel part of this incredible country. The Knoxville community should wholeheartedly welcome all new citizens and those who are on a pathway to achieve this goal.”