EMCC hosts 5th annual Tale of Two Cities Parade & Festival, Sat., Feb. 20

Tale of Two Cities festival
Tale of Two Cities festival
Kids College Booth
Kids College Booth
Tale of Two Cities ad
Tale of Two Cities ad

The cities of Avondale and Goodyear will celebrate the multi-cultural flavor of the Southwest Valley with an internationally-themed Tale of Two Cities Parade & Festival on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. This fifth annual community-wide celebration is free and open to the public.

With a 10 a.m. scheduled start, the parade will begin at the Goodyear Community Park, heading south to Dysart, and ending at the festival site at Estrella Mountain Community College. The festival will run from noon to 3:00 p.m., offering two stages with music and dance, culture, world food, vendor and education booths.

Tale of Two Cities Parade & Festival - International Celebration
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Parade: 10:00 a.m.
Festival: noon - 3:00 p.m.
Estrella Mountain Community College - 3000 North Dysart Road; Avondale, AZ 85392

Parade of Cultures
The parade will promote various cultures from around the globe, with music and performances from a variety of artists to complement the experience. With approximately 90 parade entries, the procession will also include decorated floats, marching school bands, cultural dance groups, local celebrities and state political figures, celebrated mascots, foreign makes of antique and specialty vehicles, community and school clubs, scouts, and more.

This year's Tale of Two Cities celebration parade focus rallies around educators and students in the West Valley, as the parade will co honor and celebrate the World of Education. The Grand Marshal of the parade is Dr. Betsy Hargrove. Dr. Betsy Hargrove, who serves as superintendent of Avondale Elementary School District, oversees the ten schools in Avondale and Goodyear.

A few of the many highlight entries of the parade include WWII Stearman Bi-Planes (fly over), Phoenix Bag Pipe Band, El Zaribah Shrine Transit Unit, the colorful dancers of Ballet Folklorico Esperanza, and street dance performance of the Chinese Dragon from Dynamic Wushu, local school bands and more.

A World of Performances, and Naturalization Ceremony
Stage entertainment will feature a series of performances representing many of the world's cultures. Fans will enjoy song, instrumentals and dances performances from multiple cultures.  The list of performers include Phoenix Bag Pipe Band, Hoop Dancers from Native Spirit, Mariachi's by Tolleson Elementary, Dynamic Wushu Chinese Dragon, and more.

The festival will host a Naturalization Ceremony on the Main Stage at noon, where over 100 of America's newest citizens will take oath, presented by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Keynote speaker at the Ceremony is naturalized citizen Dawn Wallace.  She is the education policy advisor with the Office of the Arizona Governor.

A World of Cuisine
Authentic food from areas around the world including Mexican, Asian, Native American, British, Mediterranean, and more. Some of the confirmed food vendors include Zeta's Grill,  Molly's Tamales, Grandma's Fry Bread, East Asian Bistro, Baumy Britt, Cactus Corn, and Mister Softee.

Kid's Zone
Children will be able to take part in free activities and fun. The zone will include a bounce house, rock wall, carnival games, face painting, and crafts for the kids.

Exhibits, Booths, and NEW Education Expo
Vendors, businesses, community organizations and sponsors, as well as city services from Avondale and Goodyear, will be participating to provide information and opportunities. Arts, crafts and food booths help create the international theme.  New this year, to showcase the World of Education an Education Expo will highlight SciTech involvement through hands on interactive displays as well as other examples of excellence in our schools.  Estrella Mountain Community College will also have multiple academic displays.

Free parking will be available at St. Thomas Aquinas Church (enter from 137th Ave.), Palm Valley Elementary (enter from 135th Ave.) and Estrella Mountain Community College (enter from the North, off Dysart Rd). SEE PARKING AND ROAD CLOSURES INFO BELOW.

For further information, visit www.taleof2cities.org or call Avondale Recreation at 623-333-2400.

This event is a collaborative between the cities of Avondale, Goodyear and Estrella Mountain Community College.  The event is produced by Goosebump Marketing and Events, brought to you in part by our major contributing sponsors: APS, AtoZ Equipment Rentals, Abrazo West Campus, Avondale Mitsubishi, Blake Law Firm, Cox Communications, Discount Cab, Estrella Mountain Community College Culinary Institute, Grand Canyon University.

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The parade route begins on Litchfield Road at the Goodyear Community Park to Thomas Road and will travel east to Dysart Road, de-staging at Dysart Commons retail center.  Litchfield Road Northbound lanes only will be closed 7 a.m. - Noonbetween Thomas and Indian School Road. Detours will be set up for northbound traffic at Thomas Road. Thomas Road between Litchfield and Dysart will be closed 7:00 a.m. - Noon.  Detours will be set up for west and east bound traffic at Litchfield Road and Santa Fe Trail. Dysart Road will be closed to local traffic only between Thomas Road and Sage Lane starting at 9 a.m.- Noon.  Detours will be set up for north bound traffic at Encanto. Detours for south bound traffic at Osborn.

Access to Estrella Mountain Community College and the surrounding neighborhoods of Fulton Estates, Dysart Ranch, Sage Creek, Las Palmeras West, and Corte Sierra will be available throughout the duration of the event. All major intersections in these areas will be closed and existing traffic will be directed off of the parade route. All non-local traffic wishing to travel north or south should remain on Indian School Road or McDowell Road.

Spectator parking will be available at St. Thomas Aquinas Church (enter from 137th Ave.), Palm Valley Elementary (enter from 135th Ave.) and Estrella Mountain Community College (enter from the North, off Dysart Rd).