You’ve heard it called “Tucson Eat Yourself” or “Tucson Treat Yourself”.
If you haven’t been to the festival, you will be astonished with all the cultural diversity. Tucson Meet Yourself is an annual celebration of the living traditional arts of Southern Arizona’s and Northern Mexico’s diverse ethnic and folk communities (Tucson Meet Yourself, 2014). If you have been, you know that it is very good news to see local favorites return with specialty dishes you get to eat only once a year!
This year, I experienced Tucson Meet Yourself in a very different way. As you might have know, my employment at Target leads me to coordinate and participate in many volunteer events. This year, we volunteered at Tucson Meet Yourself. The usual routine of eating and lounging the whole weekend was tempting. Yet, volunteering helped us see a different side of the festival, made us appreciate the efforts of the staff and volunteers. Without them, there is no festival. Yes, we all know that is true, but actually doing it puts everything in perspective. My team and I managed the beverage booths, selling waters and soda. The heat was still strong, even in mid-October. Yet, hearing the music, smelling the aromas of fry bread and Jamaican Jerked Chicken all in one place screamed Tucson and cultural celebration.
My sister and I hung out after my volunteer shift and decided to get an Indian taco and raspados. We thought it was wonderfully fitting that the next performance was Tejano music. We sat down to watch a cowboy dance to every song, two older women decided to join, liking arms and swaying to the music. A saguaro mascot collecting TMY donations was also swaying. I was thankful to have my Target Volunteers participate and learn something new about being a part of a community. As I sat there eating my red chili meat, I understood what community meant and I saw how beautiful my Tucson community was.
Tucson Meet Yourself http://www.tucsonmeetyourself.org/