Citizen Staff Writer
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TUCSON
DAVID L. TEIBEL
Monday marks the Old Pueblo’s birthday.
It was 232 years ago – Aug. 20, 1775 – that the Royal Spanish Presidio San Agustín del Tucson was established, and people here are still celebrating.
Among them were those at the historic Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., where 200 brightly decorated cupcakes were handed out to mark the event Sunday.
As a jazz band played, visitors to the hotel made their way to its bar to pick out cupcakes.
By about 12:30 p.m., about 30 people had ambled into the hotel for a late brunch or dropped in while touring downtown.
The birthday cupcakes were a bonus.
The celebration went from noon to 2 p.m., and by its close some 175 people had come by, said Deborah Kelly, the hotel’s banquet manager.
Bob and Tanya Martin, with their 2-year-old daughter, Maya, were among those who came in just for the birthday celebration.
Bob was raised in Phoenix but has lived in Tucson since 1985. Tanya and Maya are native Tucsonans.
“We came for the cake,” Tanya Martin said.
Also at the celebration were Shana Oseran, wife of hotel owner and local lawyer Richard Oseran, their daughter Rebecca Hanley and, cradled in Shana Oseran’s arms, 9-month-old granddaughter Josephine Hanley.
“Of course we came down for the birthday celebration, wouldn’t miss it,” Shana Oseran said. “It’s just our heritage. It’s a chance to celebrate what we are, who we are and what we will become.”
“I think it’s amazing,” Hanley added. “Last year, I was cutting the cake pregnant.”
Kelly said about 200 people attended the hotel’s first Tucson birthday celebration last year.
Said the Massachusetts native, who moved here after a visit four and a half years ago, “The people, the food, the weather . . . I fell in love with Tucson immediately.”
“Absolutely” the hotel will host another birthday party next year, Kelly said.
The Hotel Congress cupcake party was one of dozens of events, discounts and free admissions planned throughout August to celebrate the birthday. Monday features 15 events, including a birthday flag ceremony planned for 8 a.m. at Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Courtyard, at the corner of Church Avenue and Washington Street.
The ceremony celebrates the five flags that have flown over Tucson – Spain’s, Mexico’s, United States’, the Confederate states’ and Arizona’s.
• For more information about the remaining birthday events in August, go to www.tucsonbirthday.org.