The Main Stream

Oct 11, 2012 11:42 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Thousands to go downtown for Tucson Meet Yourself

TUCSON - Organizers are almost ready for the 39th annual Tucson Meet Yourself Festival.

About 65 food vendors and 250 performing groups will keep people fed and entertained all over Downtown, mostly at Presidio Park.

Organizers expect about 120,000 people.

Angela Roll was setting up the booth for Club Colombia.

"We need to be here," Roll said, "but we love being here. It's 3 days of a lot of work, but we come back every year."

Club Colombia is a non-profit that teaches culture and supports charities. Almost all of their funding comes from the food they sell at Tucson Meet Yourself.

"People come every day looking for the empanadas, Colombian coffee," Roll said, "and it's just nice to share our culture and our foods with people."

Many of the vendors do have year-round, for-profit businesses.

But workers for Saffron Indian Bistro call it volunteering. They want to encourage people to eat gluten-free and vegan food.

"Money is definitely not our first priority over here." Saurabh Sareen said.

They also don't mind the publicity.

"If they like it, they'll come to our restaurant as well," Sareen said.

The festival is free.

It starts at 11 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It goes until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday.

Organizers say construction will not cause major delays and there is plenty of parking.

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