Seattle Center hosts the 36th Annual Naturalization Ceremony, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, July 2nd, and invites the public to observe livestream as The Honorable Ricardo S. Martinez, Chief U.S. District Judge, swears in 60 candidates as new citizens of the United States of America. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services District 41 Director Anne Corsano will present the candidates at this event which reaffirms the meaning of United States citizenship. It is an important day for the new citizens, who come from diverse cultures across the globe, to make the United States–and Seattle–their new home.
Seattle Center, City of Seattle, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and United States District Court for the Western District of Washington partner to produce the Naturalization Ceremony, held annually at Seattle Center for the past 35 years. All countries represented will be announced and the eldest applicant and military personnel for citizenship will be introduced. Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Seattle Center Director of Facilities, Planning and Operations, Rose Ann Lopez will welcome the candidates, followed by congratulatory addresses by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and closing with a greeting by Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman.
The program begins at 12 p.m., commencing with the singing of the United States National Anthem by soloist Maria Plancich Kesovija, followed by welcoming addresses and a Native American welcome by performers Gene Tagaban, storyteller, and musicians Peter Ali and Swil Kanim. Gospel singer Josephine Howell will give her heartfelt rendition of God Bless America following the swearing-in of the 60 candidates. Following the congratulatory addresses, the Children of our Nations, representing several of the represented cultures, will lead the new citizens in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for their first time as U.S. citizens.
Due to current state guidelines the event is limited to the candidates, their families, and participants. Organizers of the Fourth of July Naturalization Ceremony encourage the public to join them on livestream.