Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Flashlight Parade

With a little sadness but with many happy memories, Tucson's Birthday month came to a close with a Flashlight Parade.

We met at the foot of A mountain at sundown and walked along a luminaria-lined path to the multi-use trail that runs along the Santa Cruz and found the De Anza trail that includes trail-side attractions to educate walkers. Did you know that the Tohono O'Odham helped to build San Franscisco?

Luminaria-lined path

Walkers decorated flashlights and at the end of the walk voting commenced and the winning flashlight was chosen. Here is a picture of our winner, Sylvia, and her flashlight. She decorated it to honor her Norwegian heritage.

Thank you to everyone who participated in making Tucson's birthday so special. I LOVE Tucson, and it was fantastic to be around so many others who love Tucson too.

Ambassador Bjay

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Big Morning August 29!

Red House Dancers at Atria Bell Court Gardens

Forum on "Greening Mission Gardens" at the Arizona Historical Society

Mountain Men presentation at Himmel Park Library

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dunbar African American Museum and Cultural Center

Dunbar African-American Museum and Cultural Center opened its doors today to anyone interested in a private tour. Shirley Hockett and Delores Townsend welcomed all with warm, friendly greetings. Cress Lander proudly showed visitors the results of renovation and renovation in progress.

The former TUSD school now turned museum and cultural center is steeped in Tucson history since its beginnings in
1918. The tour included a visit on the first floor to the Dance Academy, Barber Academy, Food Service and Catering Academy, Board Room and Green Room. The second floor, currently under renovation, will provide more space and will include historical cultural artifacts and additional Buffalo Soldier exhibits at the museum.

Some of the visitors reflected on “Where did the time go?” and commented that visiting a former school was like celebrating a birthday. One could not help but wonder how many kids had a chance to celebrate their birthday
while they were students at the Dunbar. We are pretty sure that it was not quite like celebrating 234 years of birthdays such as the City of Tucson celebrates this year. Celebrating Tucson’s Birthday is just another way that the Dunbar helps to bridge the gap and fill in the cultural divide among Tucsonans and between adults and youth. At the end of the
tour, visitors found cookies, water and soda waiting for them. For more information on the Dunbar, visit http://www.thedunbarproject.org/. -- Tina Johnson

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Terra del Sol Ice Cream Social 8/26

The neighborhood of Terra del Sol (near 22nd & Wilmot) really came out to celebrate each other and Tucson's Birthday with a concert performed by residents. It was amazing and touching to see how many long time residents live in the neighborhood.

Sallye Williams

Old Town Artisans - Free cake in a historical setting

Jeremy Hauptman and Daniel Barrasso aretwo of many who can eat delicious free cake and learn about Tucson's history every Wednesday in August at Old Town Artisans, located Downtown at 201 N. Court Avenue. The 150 year old adobe building houses a restaurant and shops featuring fine arts and crafts from hundreds of local and regional artists.

The Spanish-style courtyard and patio offers a relaxing place for margaritas or lunch and is adjacent to the recreated Presidio San Augustin de Tucson.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Youth artists create mural of Tucson's history - Downtown!

Vice Mayor Regina Romero joined artist Rocky Martinez and youth artists to celebrate a new mural located at the Tucson Water building downtown, adjacent to the Tucson Museum of Art
Tucson Parks and Recreation Arts in Reality program manager Ruth Marblestone worked with El Presidio neighbors and many others to teach kids about the history and culture of Tucson's westside. Ninety-nine year old Frank Pesqueira and his family attended to see the piece of the mural celebrating their family business - Grande Tortilla Factory, which recently closed. The theme was tucson's history and this area used to be loaded with wheat fields, which were used to create tortillas! Sonoran desert and Santa Cruz River wildlife and the history of chinese workers on the railroad are also represented. The Chinese quote on the mural can be translated to mean "10,000 wishes come true" or "Everything goes smoothly".
Congrats to all who participated, especially the youth: Richard Almarez, Michael Allen, Carlos Armenta, Gabe Beta-Kiser, Josh Beta-Kiser, Robbie Felix, John Granados, Trevin Hooker, Ital Ironstone, Thomas Jimenez, Jahan Khamsehzadeh, Dillan Patterson, Jose Soto, Jason Soto, Nick Thongsophaphona, Jonny Torrez, Nolan Veneklasen, Aaron Wuerfel.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Loft Theatre celebrated Tucson's birthday with a special screening of Martin Scorsese's classic 1974 Oscar-winning movie "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore!" Filmed in Tucson, it was fun to see the local sites including many downtown shots. The first house Alice lived in was right across the street from where I was living with 2 other gals when we were going to the UofA. We would sit on the curb and watch the shooting but never did see Kris Kristofferson, as he was in the movie much later. Oh, well!!

A good time was had by all. The whole audience got into the movie and during scenes at Mel and Ruby's Diner the whole crowd would break out into laughter. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fashioning History, Celebrating Cele, Celebrating Tucson

More than 80 people packed into the Arizona Historical Society to pay tribute to that doyen of Tucson fashion, Cele Peterson. We enjoyed learning more about her many contributions to our city and ooohed and ahhhhed over her fabulous designs, including a dress made of copper! Mrs. P truly loves what she does and believes strongly in supporting her community. Thank you for all you've done for Tucson Mrs. P!

Desert-themed Art Exhibit at Ward 6 8/22

I thoroughly enjoyed myself visiting with many local artists and sharing good food at Nina Trasoff's Ward 6 art exhibit opening. These are photos of my three favorite works of art.

My favorite was this watercolor entitled "Reflections" by a very talented artist, Helen Mazziotta.

However, "Summer Vines" by Marianne Poston was the favorite of several other attendees, and we all really liked "Border Crossers" by Amelia Galloway.

To those who could not attend, the objects d'art are still available for viewing & purchase at Nina Trasoff's Ward 6 office.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Birthday Cake with the Ghosts

It always happens. Just when you think you really don’t need to buy anything else, you see that one more thing you need, not just want but need. So, when I visited the 22nd Street Antique Mall, I realized there was something that I needed and a lot more that I wanted. But I was there to celebrate Tucson’s 234th birthday.

There had been a good number of people wanting to share birthday cake with ghosts. I don’t know how many ghosts there were but there were at least three different types of birthday cakes to enjoy.

I was one of the lucky ones who also received a small scroll detailing the history of Tucson. It was certainly worth the trip. I left with my scroll, some cake and that one item that I needed.

---/Tina Johnson

Sun Sounds of Arizona

I knew I was in the right place as soon as I walked through the front door. Claire greeted me with a smile. I could hear the radio playing but it wasn’t the usual music. Instead, there was someone reading. That’s what the 150 volunteers do every day for Sun Sounds of Arizona. Today, anyone celebrating Tucson’s 234th birthday had a chance to watch a live radio broadcast and received a studio tour which included sound rooms, a communications room and more.

Not too long after my arrival, there was a group from Tucson Community Connections. After they finished the tour, Claire cut them birthday cake with strawberry filling. Listening to a comforting voice and eating cake-a great way to celebrate Tucson’s birthday.

---/Tina Johnson

Celebrating the Day

This gal sported a "HAPPY BIRTHDY"

Great Photos from August 20!

This is an actual cake! Can you believe it?

Scroll down and read all our Ambassadors' amazing blog posts about all the events of August 20, Then click "See all blog posts" for even more! Even more pics are on
the Tucson's Birthday photostream on Flickr.

Celebrating the Day

This gal sported a foam "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" crown as she waved at the first trolley car along the 4th Ave. Underpass Reopening Celebration.

50 Birthday Babies!

Fifty babies were born in Tucson on the city's 234th Birthday. Tucson's Birthday awarded each one a special certificate commemorating their birth with a copy of the original proclamation of the Presidio.

4th Ave. Underpass Opening

After 2 ½ years of construction, the new 4th Ave. Underpass opened on Tucson's birthday, reconnecting the University and the 4th Avenue merchants with downtown. Mayor Walkup hosted the ceremony. The festivities were complete with a bagpipers procession preceeding a trolley car that broke through the grand reopening ribbon. That was followed by a parade of vintage automobiles, one carrying Cele Peterson, the founder of the annual Tucson Birthday Celebration.

22nd Street Antique Mall

If you are looking for cool walk down memory lane, stop in at the 22nd St. Antique Mall. They have a little of everything including antique jewelry, collectible housewares and sports memorabilia, glass tops from power poles and some crazy big bugs and bats on display. I’m guessing some weekend entomologist was cleaning out his stash of framed creepy crawlies and flying nightmares. The staff was very hospitable and the mall impeccably organized.

Party Animals

The Reid Park Zoo and some of its most popular residents celebrated Tucson’s 234th birthday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ukulele Concert at Fellowship Square Tucson

I would not call them “senior” anything. But I would certainly say that they are “seasoned” because they know how to put spice into a Fiesta celebrating Tucson’s Birthday. For those who could not make it to the Ukulele Concert at Fellowship Square Tucson, I’m here to let you know that you missed a good one. We had over a 100 people who stayed up a little later than usual for a Monday night. While listening to the Fellowship Square Ukesters, I had a great time watching comedy skits, learning lyrics to songs of the Southwest and being in a room full of fun people. We watched Michael Crownhart juggle cacti, surprise us with oversized playing cards, and find one of the player’s kazoo. A soloist, harmonica player, and flutist shared with us their fabulous talents. I may not have grown up singing the songs but like many Tucsonans, I have heard them before and could hum a few bars or two—“Spanish Eyes”, “Ragtime Cowboy Joe”, “Back in the Saddle Again”, “Don’t Fence Me In”, “Rawhide”, and more.

Those who served in one of the U.S. military branches stood or waved while we sang several songs recognizing them.

As with any traditional birthday celebration, we ate cake and sang “Happy Birthday”!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fiesta at La Siesta Aug 15

Hot rods, hot dogs from the grill, mariachi and cooling spray from the mister all added to the festive atmosphere at La Siesta Motel August 15. Historian Demion Clinco gave a lively presentation about the history of Miracle Mile, the once-thriving tourist destination of which La Siesta and its neighboring hotels were once an important part. La Siesta is a pioneer in the movement to restore these forgotten havens' attraction as boutique motels, with rooms individually decorated and equipped for discerning guests who appreciate their historic charms.