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Tucson Meet Yourself 2022: Know before you go

Annual 'folklife' festival brings dance, music and food from around the world
Tucson Meet Yourself returns to Downtown Tucson.
Posted at 1:43 PM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-07 20:59:04-04

Tucson Meet Yourself is Tucson's annual 'folklife' festival. Every fall this free three-day event offers cultural music and dance performances, folk art and food representing cultures from around the world.

The festival runs Friday, Oct. 7 through Sunday, Oct. 9, occupying a three-block area in and around Jacomé Plaza, in front of the main library at 101 N. Stone Ave.

The programs kick off and vendors open for business at 11 a.m. each day. Friday's and Saturday's festivities run through 10 p.m. The festival concludes Sunday evening at 6 p.m.

Tucson Meet Yourself, "an annual celebration of the living traditional arts of Southern Arizona’s and Northern Mexico’s diverse ethnic and folk communities" first began in 1974. It was the brain child of Dr. James “Big Jim” Griffith, a University of Arizona folklorist and anthropologist, and former director of the Southwest Folklore Center.

Griffith passed away on Dec. 18, 2021. He had been recognized as a “National Heritage” treasure in 2011 by the National Endowment for the Arts.

This year's festival will feature a Big Jim Shrine at the intersection of Stone and Pennington.

big jim griffith.jpg
Dr. James S. “Big Jim” Griffith, co-founder of Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival died Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 at his home. He was 86.

The festival includes not only regional Arizona-Sonora folk traditions, but showcases cultures from multiple continents, all represented by multi-national communities Southern Arizona.

Tucson Meet Yourself festival map. The festival runs Friday, Oct. 7 - Sunday, Oct. 9

Festival organizers recommend the following downtown garages for parking. You can view an interactive map of downtown parking garages, lots and meters online:

  • Public Service Center Garage – 38 E. Alameda St.
  • City/State Garage – 498 W. Congress Ave.
  • El Presidio Garage – 160 W. Alameda
  • Public Works Garage – 50 W. Alameda
  • La Placita Garage – 211 S. Church Ave. (entrance from Jackson, between Church/Stone)
  • Main Library Garage – 101 N. Stone (entrance on Alameda St)
  • Pennington Street Garage – 110 E. Pennington (enter at Scott Ave)
  • Plaza Centro Garage – 345 E. Congress (near Hotel Congress, the Rialto and Maynards)
  • Depot Plaza – 45 N. 5th Ave.
  • Franklin Lot – 50 W. Franklin (2 blocks North of TMY Festival)
  • Catalina Lot – 419 W. Congress (2 blocks West of TMY Festival)
  • Tucson Convention Center Parking Lots A, B & C

Suntran has modified routes to accommodate the festival, but remains free for riders.

RELATED: Street closures: Tucson Meet Yourself returns downtown

Anne Simmons is the digital executive producer for KGUN 9. Anne got her start in television while still a student at the University of Arizona. Before joining KGUN, she managed multiple public access television stations in the Bay Area and has worked as a video producer in the non-profit sector. Share your story ideas and important issues with Anne by emailing or by connecting on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.