For the First Time Ever, a Special Naturalization Ceremony Celebrates 100 of the Newest New Yorkers at the Fair
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the designation of New Americans Day at the 2015 Great New York State Fair on Friday, August 28. The day will be marked with a special naturalization ceremony, cultural performances celebrating the rich diversity of New York State, and culinary specialties from around the world.
New Americans Day at the Fair will kick off at 11 a.m. with a naturalization ceremony officiated by the Office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. More than 100 New Yorkers hailing from 40 different countries will take the oath as United States citizens during a commemoration in the Empire Room. This is the first citizenship ceremony ever conducted at the New York State Fair.
“New York’s diversity is its strength and this state has long been a beacon for people across the world who seek to make a better life for themselves and their families,” Governor Cuomo said. “I’m proud to continue this rich tradition with the first ever New Americans Day. The Great New York State Fair is a showcase of the very best that this state has to offer and there is no better place to welcome our newest Americans and our newest New Yorkers.”
Following the ceremony, the New York State Office for New Americans will host musical performances and acts for the remainder of the day. Programming includes dance performances by the Karen Society of Buffalo, the Burundi Community of Buffalo, and the Bhutanese-Nepali Community of Buffalo, as well as additional cultural acts.
New Americans Day at the Fair was created in collaboration with various leading Western and Central New York groups involved with the immigrant community. It is one of several special days at the Fair, including the newly announced Pride Day, Law Enforcement Day, Armed Forces Day, two Senior Days, SUNY Day, Women’s Day and the new Six Nations Day honoring the contributions of the Iroquois Nations. The Great New York State Fair begins with Governor’s Day, August 27 and runs to September 7, 2015.
The festivities will complement the Fair’s renovated International Building, which will feature food from around the world. Staff from the Office of New Americans will also be on hand at the Fair and at their booth to direct fairgoers and connect them with their local Opportunity Centers. New Americans Day is hosted by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Office for New Americans.
Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales said, “The designation of New Americans Day at the Great New York State’s Fair celebrates the diversity of our great State and acknowledges the contributions made by our immigrant communities. We are proud to join the Great New York State Fair to celebrate this joyous occasion.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Its an honor to be a part of this special day that means so much to the individuals who will, on Friday, officially become Americans and a part of the New York State family. The Great New York State Fair represents all there is love about New York and its traditions so it’s only fitting that we come together to welcome 100 of our newest residents on the Fairgrounds and dedicate the day to celebrating our State’s diverse cultural backgrounds.”
Acting State Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “New Americans Day is going to be a really exciting day that I think will inspire us all to pause and take a moment to reflect on what it means to be a U.S. Citizen and a New Yorker. I’m proud the State Fair is able to host this momentous occasion for not only our 100 new citizens but also our fairgoers who can join in the celebration.”
Executive Director of Spanish Action League of Onondaga County Rita Paniagua said “We are excited to partner with New York State in the first ever New Americans Day at the Great New York State Fair. New Americans Day provides an opportunity for members of our community to showcase and celebrate their cultures and talent.”
The New Americans Day celebration continues Governor Cuomo’s efforts to help immigrants fully participate in New York State’s civic and economic life. Previously, the Administration suspended participation in the federal Secure Communities program when concerns were raised about the implementation of the program, as well as its impact on families, immigrant communities and law enforcement in New York. The Governor also issued Executive Order 26 requiring state agencies that provide direct public services to offer free interpretation and translation services to members of the public for vital forms and instructions.
Governor Cuomo established the New York State Office for New Americans in 2013 to assist newcomers in the state who are eager to contribute to the economy and become part of the family of New York. The Office for New Americans, overseen by the Department of State, is the first state-level immigrant office created by statute in the country. Recently, the Governor launched a pilot program to provide free English-language training via mobile phones to hundreds of immigrants in New York State who may lack regular access to a classroom, a computer or the Internet.
About the Great New York State Fair
The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 27 to September 7, 2015. The Fair’s mission, reflected in its theme “Summer’s Best in Show,” is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.
The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year to host dozens of agricultural events, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website at https://nysfair.org/
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