By Fiona Hurrell, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Saturday May 25th, the American Society of Rio de Janeiro (AmSoc Rio) will host their annual America’s Day celebration at the Escola Americana (American School) in Gávea. As always, the event promises a range of fun family activities to entice both adults and children alike.
America’s Day in Rio traditionally celebrates the American way of life and although the same season, takes place earlier than the American Independence Day on July 4th. AmSoc Rio Board member Michael Royster explains, “It’s our way of celebrating Memorial Day (the unofficial beginning of the American summer), but since most people travel during July, we hold the event a little early.”
Guests can expect a large picnic including some all-time American favorites with live music from ArizonA band. Children, meanwhile will be kept extra entertained this year with a choice of a gadgets including a bounce house, slide and other fun activities.
As an avid supporter of a number of charities in Rio, the event not only offers the opportunity to celebrate American heritage, it also allows the AmSoc Rio to raise awareness. Royster confirms, “Our main purpose is to celebrate American holidays and culture; our other main purpose is to support charities connected to our community, which we do.”
One of the highlights of the event is the charity raffle which this year offers one lucky guest the chance to win round trip tickets to a choice of 48 states with American Airlines. Proceeds from the raffle fund will go towards helping one of the members of ArizonA band, Emmanuel Gilligan, who is recovering from severe injuries resulting from a shooting last March.
As with many events that celebrate the traditions of home, the AmSoc Rio provides individuals with the chance to feel part of a community while bringing together people from other cultures as well. Society Chairman Michael Lindsay explains, “There is always plenty of fun, games, and multilingual conversation to make everyone feel comfortable. All are invited to attend, you don’t have to be American!”
The American Society of Rio was founded in 1917 and has since been a strong community organization in the city for expatriates. It has provided a strong support system for foreigners who find themselves living in Rio de Janeiro but sometimes missing home.
Another pillar of the expatriate community in Rio is the American School in Gávea. Established in 1937, by private individuals, corporations, and the American Chamber of Commerce, the school has been providing an exceptional academic system to families.
At the heart of the U.S. expat community for many, it is an annual tradition and a fitting environment in which to host America’s Day. Lindsay adds, “we look forward to seeing everyone there for what always proves to be an enjoyable time!”
Join in the Celebrations for America’s Day at the American School in Gávea.
What: America’s Day 2013
Where: The American School, Estrada da Gavea 132
When: from 12PM
Tickets: R$40 for AmSoc members, R$60 for non-members, R$20 for children 7-12, and free for children under six