28 November 2019 – The Croatian community in Phoenix, Arizona have gathered on the weekend for their traditional annual picnic.
The Croatian American Club Phoenix Arizona, which was established in 1954, has held its annual Fall Picnic on the weekend. Over 200 people turned out on Sunday for the event which was a chance for the Croatian community in Phoenix, who come from all parts of Croatia, to get together and celebrate.
The entertainment during the day was provided by the Croatian-singing Samoan-New Zealanders, Klapa Samoana, who sang for four hours straight.
Austin and Christian from Klapa Samoana kicked off their 10-month tour in Phoenix in February and ended it with an encore performance at the picnic on the weekend.
Christian shared his thoughts about the year, which has seen them perform all over the world at Croatian events, as well as at Maksimir stadium ahead of Dinamo Zagreb’s Champions League clashes, with the club’s Vice President Rick Tomljenović.
“When I started 2019 there was no way in my wildest imagination that I could’ve guessed what would unfold. Now looking back, as we leave the States for the last time this year, all I can say is I feel a huge sense of gratitude and energy flicking through my passport. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Find a way, make it happen. Don’t make excuses. Don’t look at those around you. Don’t wait for their permission. Go ahead and do it. My main goal this year was to travel and to live, to party and enjoy! To give an example of what you can achieve if you push hard enough. And now looking to 2020 I just can’t help but feel amazing and confident! I feel like 2019 was only a planting year, a preparation year… the big stuff is yet to come. Thank you all for joining us on this journey. We look forward to watching you grow and joining you on yours”
Club President Melita Ivezić Obeid said “I am so proud that these two young men of a Samoan ancestry would embrace the Croatian Culture the way they have.”
Rick Tomljenović added “ these young men are great Ambassadors for Croatia both home and abroad They are a testament to what’s right with the World. I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for them.”
Like all Croatian events, there was no shortage of food on offer with lamb, and pig on the spit, cevapi, fritule, strudel, kifle and a number of other sweets.