On August 20, 1775 Captain Hugo O’Conor, an Irishman in the Spanish Army selected the site for the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson in what is now downtown Tucson. This was the beginning of the historic presidio here and thus the beginning of the city of Tucson. Incidentally I just saw the statue of O’Conor at the Manning House downtown (450 W. Redondo Drive).
Lots to do today in celebration of Tucson’s 235th birthday, by starting off at:
El Presidio de San Agustin flag ceremony, 8 to 10 a.m. SW corner of Church Ave. and Washington St. in downtown Tucson.
“The five flags that have flown over Tucson – American, Spanish, Mexican, Confederate, and the State of Arizona – will be presented in a ceremony to celebrate Tucson’s 235th birthday. The Tohono O’odham Nation and Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona flags will also be presented, as will a replica of the 28-star American flag that was brought by the Mormon Battalion and flown over Tucson on December 16, 1846.
The ceremony will include an invocation, signing of a proclamation by distinguished guests, the honor guard presentation, and music and dance. The flags will then be retired to close the ceremony.
Those attending are encouraged to dress in period costumes and sample a piece of the Tucson birthday cake.
El Presidio flag ceremony, from their website
The annual flag raising celebrating Tucson’s birthday was begun by Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission in 1975. The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson interpretive center is located on the site of Tucson’s original adobe-walled presidio.”
I’ve attended this ceremony in the past, and the period costumes truly help to re-enact Tucson’s varied history, especially the Spanish Army soldiers.
Also lots of FREE birthday stuff today:
– Doubletree Hotel: free chocolate chip cookie, 445 S. Alvernon Way, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
– Reid Park Zoo: free admission for children (up to age 14), 3400 E. Zoo Court, adults $7, 9 to 4 p.m.
—Chick Fil A: free spicy chicken sandwich, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., 3609 E. Broadway (near El Con Mall)
—DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun: free cake & ice cream, 10 to 4 p.m., 6300 N. Swan Rd. with a special exhibition of original drawings and paintings that tell the “Tucson Story” as seen through the eyes of famed Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia. “Tucson Story” is a collection of 17 sketches and six oil paintings of historical events and places in the Tucson area, including “Kino Building San Xavier”, “Wishing Shrine”, “Camp Fort Lowell”, “400 Apaches Raid Tucson”
and tomorrow, free birthday cake at the Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., at 6 p.m., call 520- 622-8848. I hear there will also be an enormous sandcastle birthday cake across the street at Maynard’s Kitchen, as part of the Big Kahuna Tropical Bash (stay tuned for my blog on that event tomorrow).
For even more events for today and tomorrow, log onto the Tucson Birthday website (click here).
Plus a tribute today to Tucson’s “First Lady of Fashion” Cele Peterson who died on May 6, 2010 at age 101. Cele operated an upscale dress shop in Tucson since 1931 and was a benevolent, caring, community leader. The store is now at 4811 E. Grant Rd. in the Crossroads Festival Shopping Center.
Cele Peterson, courtesy of the Peterson family
This Annual Birthday celebration in August was Cele’s idea back in 2006 and we need to honor her memory today. We miss her, but her goal of “connecting” people has been happening all month all over Tucson. I attended her memorial service back in May, and hundreds of people dropped by to say “adios” to this grande dame.
Happy Birthday Tucson, con muchas gracias (with many thanks) to Cele.