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Tucson Meet Yourself festival is forced to relocate - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Meet Yourself festival is forced to relocate

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TUCSON -

Tucson Meet Yourself is one of the area's most beloved festivals. 

"Tucson meet yourself is the iconic signature event that celebrates Tucson's diversity," said Maribel Alvarez, Tucson Meet Yourself Executive Director. "Tucson has all of that incredible variety of cultures that make up it's up its history and unique character."

For more than 40 years, it has been at El Presidio Park, which is the plaza between the Pima County Courthouse and City Hall. 

But the event is being forced to relocate this year because the city would not issue a permit for El Presidio Park. That is because Tucson Meet Yourself is too heavy. 

Tucson's cultural festival of food has been held in the El Presidio Park area since the start of the festival in 1974, but just below that area is a parking garage. 

Back in 1974, there were about 2,000 people, but last year there were 120,000 visitors, 200 performers and 65 food vendors. 

The city worries that the weight of the festival might cause it to cave in on the garage. 

The festival is set to run Oct. 12, 13 and 14, but they are moving locations this year. 

"We think we have an incredible opportunity to make Tucson Meet Yourself part of this new renaissance of downtown in a unique way," said Alvarez. "After you've done a festival for 45 years, a little bit of change is not a bad thing."

But the festival will still be downtown. 

It is just moving a bit east of El Presidio Park and the old courthouse building. 

It will go to the Pima County Library Plaza and Stone Ave. will close for the festival to use the street for booths. 

The issue is it is going to cost $10 to $20 thousand more. 

"The largest cost will be the loss of electrical connection and power that we were able to access here in the civic space of El Presidio," Alvarez said. "We'll have to bring generators if we move more towards the street and of course the street closure itself will be an additional expense as well."

They have been fundraising and are taking donations for the relocation.

And they say the event will always remain free.

"We're confident that we'll be able to pull it through," Alvarez said. 

To donate to Tucson Meet Yourself visit its website

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