DES MOINES, Iowa — The first day of the Iowa State Fair is the first day as U.S. citizens for dozens of Iowans.
Thursday morning, 53 people ages two to 23 received their certificate of citizenship at a special ceremony at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The new citizens come from 24 different countries and include many children of immigrants who have already received their U.S. citizenship.
Christopher Zayneh is from Liberia but now lives in Johnston. He says becoming a citizen makes him proud and it’s something he did for his mom.
“I am happy I’m a citizen and I’m just gonna do the right thing and kind of go to college and do what’s best for my life,” Zayneh says.
Christopher’s mom Matilda Padea gushed about his accomplishment, “Oh, I’m so happy for him. He became a citizen today so I’m so happy for him.”
Citizenship ceremonies like the one Thursday morning have been held at the Iowa State Fair since 2010, with the only year missed being 2020 because of the cancelation of the fair.