August 20, 2009 marks Tucson’s 234th birthday. Someone asked me how that could be being as Arizona only became a state in 1912.
Here’s the history: 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 hear there’s a statue of O’Conor at the Manning House downtown.
So now in celebration of that momentous day the Tucson community is celebrating all month. Log onto www.tucsonsbirthday.org for a calendar of ongoing events, leading up to the birthday on August 20, where several sites will be giving out FREE cake and other goodies.
Probably the most popular event (which I have attended in the past) is the Birthday Flag Ceremony– information copied from the website below:
Time: 8:00a.m.- 10:00a.m.
Contact Name: Kathleen Nabours
Location: Presidio San Agustin de Tucson Courtyard
Address: SW Corner of Church Ave. and Washington St. Tucson, AZ 85701
“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 234th birthday. The Tohono O’odham Nation and Pascua Yaqui Tribe 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 the ceremony are encouraged to dress in period costumes and sample a piece of the Tucson birthday cake.
The annual flag raising celebrating Tucson’s birthday was begun by Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission in 1975. The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson location is the interpretive center on the site of Tucson’s original adobe-walled presidio.”
But there will be also be free cake on August 20 at the Haunted (antique) Mall on 22nd Street and the Hotel Congress, as well as free milkshakes at Chick-Fil-A restaurant at El Con, and free cookies at the Doubletree Hotel. All details are on the website including a free day at the Reid Park Zoo!
Wow, what a celebration. Happy upcoming 234th Birthday, Tucson.