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Visit Tucson gives incoming families a guide to the city

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Vanessa Ontiveros | The Daily Wildcat The Visit Tucson headquarters is located on the corner of Broadway Boulevard and Church Avenue. Families visiting Tucson might check their website for places to eat, stay and play.

This year, people visiting the University of Arizona for Family Weekend will have one place to look for hotels and places to check out if they go to the event's website. That place is Visit Tucson. Visit Tucson is a website and company that partners with the metro chambers to promote Tucson tourism.

For years, Visit Tucson has been giving visitors advice on where to eat, sleep and experience something new in Tucson. The website works to help improve economic development for the city.

RELATED: Family Weekend 2019: Schedule of events

Ruth Allard, a visitor information specialist for the company, said that Visit Tucson has increased the city's tourism. According to Allard, tourism in Tucson has increased for the past decade since she has been working there. This is calculated by the popularity of hotel rooms in the valley.

Visit Tucson finds its information about events through many different means. They have employees who keep track of annual events and repost them each year. Visit Tucson also has many partnerships with over 500 companies or venues that will send them information to promote to the community. 

Some of those partnerships include the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Biosphere 2 and even the dance and art departments from the UA. These partnerships give notice when events are coming up.

Many events will occur in Tucson this coming weekend. Second Saturday is a music festival that takes place every second Saturday of the month in Downtown Tucson.

Nightfall at Old Tucson will also take place this weekend at Old Tucson and is a Halloween-themed event with live shows and scary attractions.

Film Fest Tucson will occur from Oct. 10-12 at the Fox Tucson Theatre and the AC Hotel by Marriott Tucson Downtown. The fest will present the films "Cactus Boy," "Clemency," "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" and many more. The Tohono Chul will be having a Día de los Muertos exhibit Oct. 9 through Nov. 6. The exhibit will include artwork from local artists that represent the Día de los Muertos celebration. And lastly, the annual Tucson Meet Yourself folklife festival will be returning to Tucson on Oct. 11-13 at Jácome Plaza.

Allard said that out of these attractions, Tucson Meet Yourself is the best event to go to. 

“It really showcases all the different ethnic groups around Tucson,” Allard said. 

Tucson Meet Yourself is a folklife festival that highlights many aspects of our region's traditional culture. The festival has been occurring annually for 46 years, highlighting more than 55 cultural groups within Tucson. 

“This year, we are acknowledging the influence of Sonoran cuisine in California and how that influence has expanded all the way over there,” said Nelda Ruiz, the volunteer manager of the event.

The festival will host many events, including the highly anticipated exhibit with columnist and feature writer Gustavo Arellano. The exhibit is called “Back to the Futuro: The unlikely return of Sonoran Cuisine in Los Angeles” opened Oct. 11 .

Another exhibit is "Tucson Meet Your Ancestors" with Ofelia and Rosanna Esparza. The exhibit allows Tucsonans to place commemorative items for their ancestors in an altar. 

“It would be nice for parents of students who don’t live here to acknowledge the beautiful community that exists here in Tucson,” Ruiz said.

RELATED: Get a taste of local culture at Tucson Meet Yourself

Allard also believes that families should also experience the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. 

“One of our main attractions is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and you actually go through the Saguaro National Park to get to the museum,” Allard said. “So they’re seeing those areas that are unique to Tucson. You aren’t going to find it anywhere else. That right there is our highlight attraction, which we encourage everyone to see because it gives you a picture of this part of the country.”


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