Twentynine New Americans celebrate their Oath of Citizenship at Principal Park with the Iowa Cubs.

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Some of the 29 new citizens that took their Oath of Allegiance at Principal Park this evening. Photo Tar Macias / Hola Iowa
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The Iowa Cubs host their Annual Naturalization Ceremony at Principal Park in celebration of Independence Day

Twentynine New Americans celebrate their Oath of Citizenship at Principal Park with the Iowa Cubs.

It doesn’t get more American than baseball, hot dogs, fireworks, the 4th of July and taking the Oath to become an American citizen.

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On Thursday, July 4th, the Iowa Cubs — in partnership with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the United States District Court for the Southern District of lowa — welcomed 29 candidates as new U.S. citizens during a special ceremony at Principal Park celebrating Independence Day.

The ceremony took place prior to the Iowa Cubs game vs. the Omaha Storm Chasers.

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by one of America’s newest citizens,Shane McQuillan, New Zealand who was among the 29 new citizens at Principal Park.

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This is the 16th consecutive year the Iowa Cubs have hosted the on-field pre-game event.

“It’s special. The ballpark is a place where we pride ourselves in letting people make memories and what better memory for someone and their family to become a new citizen. We are honored to be part of it.” said Randy Wehofer, VP/Assistant General Manager for the Iowa Cubs.

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Magistrate Judge Stephen Locher of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa oversaw the ceremony and gave the keynote speech. Penny Luthens, case manager for the court, administered the Oath of Allegiance.

These new citizens come from 19 countries on 6 different continents.

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Juan José Mena Muñoz, originally from León, Guanajuato, Mexico, was one of the 29 immigrants who became a US citizen today in this ceremony.

Mena Muñoz has been in the United States for 10 years and shared with us how important this day was for him. “It is a great joy to know that you can now come and go to visit your country of origin whenever you want, to be able to bring your mother and to be able to vote. I really feel a lot of joy.”

Juan José Mena Muñoz, from Mexico, was one of 29 people who became new US citizens at Principal Park in Des Moines, IA this evening.
Photo Tar Macias / Hola Iowa

There have been a total 482 new citizens naturalized since the first on-field event was held on September 4, 2009, at Principal Park.

In addition, more than 3,000 candidates have become citizens in various other non-game day ceremonies at Principal Park over the past five years.

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