Stagecoach Days: Celebrating the Wild West in Old Town San Diego

–All Aboard for Old Town; Next Stop Stagecoach Days at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park–

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Children enjoy crafts at Stagecoach Days.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is celebrating travel and transportation in the era of real horsepower at “Stagecoach Days” from noon to 5 p.m. on eight Saturdays in July and August, starting on July 6.

Sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes, the free event features a different theme each Saturday such as: Californio Day, Women of the West, Soldiers and Citizens, TwainFest and Taste of the Past.

Attendees will enjoy afternoons filled with activities that reflect life in early San Diego and celebrate the West on the move. Through vignettes, demonstrations, living history activities, stories and songs, visitors will gain an appreciation for early modes of transportation and daily life.

“This Stagecoach Days will be the best one yet,” stated Greg Giacopuzzi. “There is a plethora of added activities for all ages to the event this year so visitors will get a true taste of what Old Town was like in the 1800s.”

A special aspect that has been added this year is a passport program featuring collectable bookmarks for each of the Stagecoach Days. Anyone attending the event can go in to the Robinson-Rose Visitor’s Center with their passport and collect a bookmark to commemorate the day. Special prizes will be awarded to those who can collect them all. The free passport cards can be picked up at any of the state park and Fiesta de Reyes merchants or at the Robinson-Rose Visitor’s Center.

The 2013 Stagecoach Days schedule is as follows:

July 6 – “Games and Amusements” – In the 1800s, games and amusements were commonly associated with either large celebrations or after-school play days incorporating most of the local townspeople. This day will pay tribute to traditional amusements of the time such as egg races, tug of war and circus performers.

July 13 — “Californio Day” - Between 1821 through 1848, the people who lived in Southern California were called “Californios” rather than Mexicans. Those unique “Californio” cultural elements will be presented this Saturday such as gambling, paper flower making and horseback demonstrations.

July 20 — “Women of the West” – Women played an important part in the development of the West. Some of the daily activities of these women will be demonstrated on this Saturday.  Aspects of this day include a quilt walk, a fashion show and carriage rides.

July 27– “Soldiers and Citizens” – In the mid-1840s, California went to war with Mexico.  United States troops were stationed and fought in San Diego County in an effort to support the war. This day will feature military practices that changed San Diego forever.  

August 3—“Trades That Shaped Westward Expansion” -- As towns developed in the West so did the need for specialized trades and artisans.   Old Town San Diego will present pivotal 19th century trades that shaped the community of San Diego.

August 10 – “Days of the Vaquero” – Cattle was the single most important economic resource for Southern California for over 50 years. This day will give the opportunity to learn about the hide and tallow trade, chuck wagon cooking, roping, branding, saddle making and more.

August 17 – “TwainFest” – The festival marks 103 years of Mark Twain’s passing and celebrates the American author as well as some of his peers. Excerpts from famous works will be read aloud by costumed San Diego actors at a variety of park venues throughout the day.

August 24 –“West on the Move” -- After the Mexican War, more and more settlers came to San Diego as a place to live or as a stop off point prior to heading to the gold fields of Northern California. Today, California State Parks will present demonstrations and activities that promote 19th century transportation.

August 31 – “Taste of the Past” – Food was important in daily life in Old Town.  Early adobe homes typically included large, outdoor gardens where plants and herbs provided food and medicine.  This day presents a glimpse of a typical 19th century dining experience in the form of menus, tools, and food.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, with the support of the Boosters of Old Town and a donation from Fiesta de Reyes, is proud to offer these free activities for adults and children of all ages. The park is located on San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street in San Diego, and is conveniently located next to the Old Town Transit Center, with Coaster, Trolley, and MTS bus service. Free parking is available at the CalTrans headquarters, just two blocks from the park at 4050 Taylor St.

For more information, go to www.parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego. For more information, go to www.parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego.

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Luis Max and The Blue Moon Celebrates Four Years at Fiesta de Reyes

Luis Max and Blue Moon will host a special celebration at Fiesta de Reyes in honor of its four-year anniversary at the venue on Friday, July 12, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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A special live performance, contests and giveaways will be part of the festivities.  Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to compete in a Macarena dance contest and enjoy complimentary, celebratory cake. Special guest performers will be sitting in with the band as well.

“We are truly appreciative of the four years we have been able entertain guests at Fiesta de Reyes and feel it is deserving of a special night,” stated Ray Dayon, manager of the band. “The night is extra special for me, as it also happens to coincide with my fifth-year anniversary of joining the band.”

Luis Max and Blue Moon entertains at Fiesta de Reyes every Friday night and plays its signature fusion of Latin, pop, rock, jazz and blues: a style called “New Flamenco”.

luis max 4th anniversary Luis Max and The Blue Moon Celebrates Four Years at Fiesta de Reyes

The celebration will take place at Juan and Wallace Streets in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free to the public.

Free parking is available all day in and around the State Park as well as in the Caltrans parking lot on Taylor Street on the weekends. For more information call 619-297-3100 or visit www.FiestaDeReyes.com.

Celebrate Fourth of July in Old Town

–Jump Back In Time and Celebrate the Red, White, and Blue in True 1800s-style –

EDD6256 1024x792 Celebrate Fourth of July in Old Town

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is hosting a free, old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration where guests will be able to come and relive the excitement of a 1800s Independence Day celebration. This free event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Come join us and celebrate the Fourth of July in a way that your family will never forget,” said Frances McMeeken, the event’s organizer. “We will have free activities and games for all ages that date back to the 1800s. This memorable celebration is a family tradition for many San Diegans.”

Guests are encouraged to participate in the parade around the plaza reminiscent of the Fourth of July parades of early San Diego with horses, wagons, and people dressed in historical costumes.  Children 12 years and under may enter the patriotic hat-making contest and proudly wear their creation in the parade. Registration for the contest starts at 11 a.m. in the plaza.

Activities start at 11:30 with a welcome address on the stage followed by a parade around the plaza at 11:40 a.m. It will be followed by a flag raising ceremony which will include the Marine Corp. Color Guard and special guest speaker at noon. 

San Diego’s spoken word group, Write Out Loud, will do a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence at 12:20 p.m. and attendees will have the chance to sign a replica of the document. There will also be a quilt raffle drawing by the Historic Quilt Sanitary Commission. 

Following the parade, there will be crafts, games, pie-eating contests, and informational demonstrations that represent the activities enjoyed in the 1800s. The stage will be filled with free entertainment such as historic dancing, vignettes, and patriotic music. All of the museums will be open and, as always, free to the public.

The park is located on San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street, and is conveniently located next to the Old Town Transit Center, with Coaster, Trolley, and MTS bus service. Free parking is available at the CalTrans headquarters, just two blocks from the park at 4050 Taylor St.

For more information about the Historic Fourth of July celebration, call Old Town San Diego State Historic Park visitor center at 619-220-5422 or visit http://www.parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego.

Celebrate Flag Day at the Mormon Battalion June 14

 – Inaugural Flag Day Event Held June 14 Honoring Active Duty and Retired Military Personnel –

American Flag by q stock 768x1024 Celebrate Flag Day at the Mormon Battalion June 14

The Mormon Battalion Historic Site in Old Town is hosting a special event to celebrate Flag Day on June 14. Several military groups, families and guests will gather at the site for a special program that will honor all military units, starting with a flag-retiring ceremony at 4:45 p.m. The event is free to the public to attend, but reservations are requested.

“We are so honored to host this event to pay tribute our nation’s true heroes: the military,” said Mormon Battalion Historic Site Director Ed Seegmiller. “Many military groups will gather at the battalion for the first time to recognize the brave men and women who sacrifice for us every day.”

The event will start behind the Mormon Battalion in the picnic area, where special performances by the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Brass Band and Color Guard will take place after the flag-retiring ceremony.

Speeches from high-ranking military officials begin around 5 p.m. Guest speaker and historian, Randy Madsen, will also give a 10-minute presentation about the history of the military. Special recognition will be given to: the Chosin Few, Buffalo Soldiers, Army of the West and the Gold Star Wives of America.

After the event, all guests are invited inside the Mormon Battalion Historic Site for a cake-cutting ceremony. Retired Maj. Donald R. Bennett will cut the cake with his sword, according to tradition. Refreshments will be available as well from Cold Stone Creamery and Fiesta de Reyes.

Guests of the event will also get a chance to see displays from the Chosin Few, Buffalo Soldiers, Army of the West and the Family Search Center, a resource for researching your ancestors with professional assistance. Tickets also will be issued to those who wish to take a tour of the historic site after the ceremony.

Parking is available across the street at Heritage Park and at the battalion. Free parking is also available at the CalTrans headquarters, just four blocks from the battalion at 4050 Taylor St.

The Mormon Battalion Historic Site is located at 2510 Juan St. Guests should RSVP by calling 619-298-3317 or by emailing saffleck@live.com.

Mother’s Day at Fiesta de Reyes

Treat your mother right! Mother’s Day will be celebrated twice at Fiesta de Reyes this year! Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 10 in Mexico and May 12 in the U.S. Mothers who visit Fiesta de Reyes will get a free basket of our chocolate-covered churros on both dates. Yum!!
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Book Signing at Old Town Gift Co. to Celebrate National Train Day

The Old Town Gift Co. will host a book signing to celebrate National Train Day Sat., May 11, featuring Reena Deutsch, author of “San Diego and Arizona Railway: The Impossible Railroad”. Free to the public, Deutsch will be present to sign copies of her book from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

9780738581484 p0 v1 s260x4201 Book Signing at Old Town Gift Co. to Celebrate National Train DayNamed the Impossible Railroad by surveyors, the San Diego and Arizona Railway overcame a series of disasters including the Mexican Revolution, a prolonged lawsuit, floods, World War I, labor shortages, a tunnel cave-in and a lethal pandemic. Once it was up and running, the line was intermittently in and out of service and later sold and renamed the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway. To this day, the Impossible Railroad still faces constant challenges, however, freight and trolley service currently operate and tourist excursions are offered at its Campo, Calif., depot.

The Old Town Gift Co. is located within Fiesta de Reyes right in the heart of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Here you’ll find shops, Mexican restaurants and entertainment inspired by 19th century pueblo life. For more information about Fiesta de Reyes, visit www.fiestadereyes.com.

Cinco de Mayo 2013 Contest

Post a photo of yourself enjoying Cinco de Mayo at Fiesta de Reyes on our facebook page between Friday, May 3 and Monday, May 6 before 3 p.m. to enter to win a Fiesta For Two, valued at $60! You can also enter on twitter or instagram by using the hashtag #cincoFdR. Winner will be announced at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 6.
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Fiesta de Reyes Implements the Round It Up America Program

 

Casa de Reyes and Barra Barra Saloon – two restaurants that anchor the cornerstone concession, Fiesta de Reyes, in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, are spearheading the Round it Up America program to generate funds for the Living History programs in the State Park.

RIUA Fiesta de Reyes Implements the Round It Up America Program

A national charitable giving program, Round It Up America provides restaurant patrons the opportunity to donate to charities by rounding up the total of their check amount when settling their restaurant bill. These donations are then contributed to three pre-selected charities that enhance and strengthen the surrounding community.

In the case of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the charities that have been selected are the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, the Pro-Start Student Culinary Program and the Living History in the Park programs.

“Living history programs are an important part of our State Park,” said Chuck Ross of Fiesta de Reyes. “We want everyone who visits Old Town to experience an active and lively park where history comes alive and, as leaders in the business community, we have a responsibility to support these critical programs. Round It Up America gives us the perfect way to allow the community to generate that support for just a few pennies when they dine here.”

About 75 percent of funds raised through this program will benefit the Living History programs in the park.

Funds will also be used to bring back San Diego County fourth-grade students that would typically come to Old Town each year so that they can experience the living history programs that Old Town has to offer. The history program for fourth graders was part of the elementary school Off-Campus Integrated Learning Experiences, which was cut by the San Diego Unified School District in 2010 because of budget constraints.

The remaining 25 percent of funds raised will be donated to the two other causes.

Founded by leaders in the restaurant industry, Round It Up America is a non-profit organization that strives to make change across America through a charitable giving program. For more information about Round It Up America, visit http://rounditupamerica.org/.

In addition to Casa de Reyes and Barra Barra Saloon, Fiesta de Reyes is comprised of 19 specialty shops, ranging from sweet treats and specialty foods, to handmade gifts, artwork, home décor and children’s toys. For more information about Fiesta de Reyes, visit: http://www.fiestadereyes.com/ or call 619-297-3100.

Fiesta de Reyes Folkorico Competition Photos and Finalists

Some photos below from the Fiesta de Reyes Folklorico Competition held April 27 and 28 on the plaza stage in the middle of the state park. The finale is next weekend on Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. to noon during the Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Youth groups finalists

Ballet Folklorico Tapatio

Grupo Folklorico Orgullo Mexicano

Adult groups finalists

Paso de Oro Dance Company

Ballet Folklorico Tapatio

Grandeza Mexicana

Grupo Folklorico Orgullo Mexicano

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Judges of the Fiesta de Reyes Folklorico Competition