Happy Birthday, Tucson! Here's How to Celebrate

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A storied child of Tucson's 5,000-year history turns 237 on Monday: El Presidio de San Agustín de Tucsón was established on August 20, 1775.

Lots of fun is planned to celebrate the event. The complete schedule is on the Pima County Website, and it's not too late to add your own party.

Here are some of our favorites:

Birds and Beer!
Pizza, local brew, live birds, bird photos and trivia on a big screen are featured from 5 to 7:30 p.m., tonight, Friday, Aug. 17, as part of the Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival at the Riverpark Inn, 350 S. Freeway. It's $15, but there's also cake. Details are here.

Trains!
What a change trains made in Tucson's history! But you can learn about that any day at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum. Saturday, Aug. 18, it's time to partay! From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., there's cake, Tucson dignitaries and trains of all sizes to play with. Details are here. This event is part of an all-day celebration along Fourth Avenue and University Boulevard involving a beach party and 23.7 percent discounts (for the 237th birthday, get it?) and all kinds of other fun. Details are here.

Costumes!
One by one, the five flags that have flown over Tucson's history are presented by people dressed in the outfits of their era, starting at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 20, at the reconstructed portion of the birthday baby, the Presidio de Tucsón, corner of Washington St. and Church Ave. Kids especially love when the muskets blast and the cannon booms, but the whole family enjoys talking to historic figures in character and seeing what life was like in the fort. It's also one of the few places to learn about the importance of Apaches to our town's past. Tucson's official troubadour Ted Ramirez performs his Southern Arizona ballads and, naturally, there's cake. Details are here.

Fry Bread!
San Xavier Mission had grey hair by the time our presidio was born. The O'odham people welcomed and collaborated with its founders, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, they welcome all half-million of the presidio's descendants to a festival of arts, crafts, food and entertainment celebrating Tucson's Birthday. Just drop in and enjoy the hospitality at Misión San Xavier del Bac, 1980 W. San Xavier Road.

Mesquite Empanadas?
Have breakfast at El Mercado, 100 S. Avenida del Convento, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., with the passionate folks who are restoring the Mission Gardens to the era of Father Kino's fabulous Italian transplants, and earlier to the sophisticated agriculture of the Hohokam. After they feed you, they'll give you a tour of life along the Santa Cruz River before the presidio. It's $20, but it could be life-changing. Details are here.

Ukuleles!
The incomparable ukelele orchestra of Fellowship Square, 8111 E. Broadway, performs their amazing annual Tucson's Birthday concert of Southwestern music and entertainment at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 26. Cake? Of course! Call 762-6432 for reservations and more information.

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