Gala Ceremonies to Include Performances by Gloria Estefan, Lee Greenwood
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In the place where Dreams Come True, more than 1,000 immigrants from dozens of countries will realize their dream of becoming United States citizens during a Naturalization ceremony on the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World Resort.
For the first time in its 35-year history, Disney's Magic Kingdom theme park will be the backdrop as Disney Parks and Resorts and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) jointly host a "Dreams Come True" swearing-in ceremony on the forecourt of Cinderella Castle. The event will be open to park guests on Independence Day morning.
Presided over by Director of USCIS Emilio Gonzalez, dreamers from more than 75 countries will raise their right hand and take the Oath of Allegiance to become citizens. The ceremony will feature the presentation of the colors, a keynote address by U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., the national anthem performed by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan, the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge of Allegiance. USCIS will also recognize Estefan and her husband Emilio as outstanding "Americans by Choice" for being exemplary naturalized citizens.
Besides the keynote address by Sen. Martinez, festivities will also include a stirring performance of "God Bless the U.S.A." by singer Lee Greenwood.
To cap a star-spangled morning, a squadron of U.S. Air Force F-15s will streak across the sky as America's newest citizens and their families join in their own July 4th parade down Main Street, U.S.A.
“What better day than Independence Day to celebrate the naturalization of 1,000 new American citizens,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “And what better place than Disney World, where dreams come true every day of the year. We are honored to participate as America bestows its greatest gift – the gift of citizenship.”