TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The public is invited to visit the historic Fort Lowell neighborhood and relive Tucson's bygone days at the 36th Annual Fort Lowell Day Celebration. The event, happening on Saturday, Feb. 11 includes a wide variety of free activities and displays the whole family can learn about this hidden corner of Tucson's past.
People of many cultures have lived in the neighborhood for well over a thousand years. The Ft Lowell U.S. Army post was decommissioned in 1891 and is now a city park. In recognition of its importance, the area has been designated a Historic District by Pima County. Portions of the area are also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The annual Fort Lowell Day Celebration is presented by the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association and the Fort Lowell Historic District Advisory Zone to highlight the area's rich history. This year's events will take place from noon until 4 p.m. and include:
- At 12:30 p.m. B Troop, US Cavalry Regiment (Memorial) from Fort Huachuca will conduct drills on the old Parade Grounds at Fort Lowell Park., and at 2 p.m. the 4th Cavalry Band (Tucson) will play 19th Century music.
- Children and adults, too, can make adobe bricks by the Post Hospital. At the Fort Lowell Museum, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there are new exhibits, games for children, and an exhibit of western art.
- Tucson Medical Center will have a shuttle at Fort Lowell Park throughout the event to take visitors to see the historic buildings on its nearby campus.
- Children can pick up a Passport to History to be stamped at various sites and earn a treat.
- Across Craycroft Road, visitors can view the recently restored 19th Century Officers' quarters and at 1 p.m. hear about the Hohokam pit houses and artifacts found at this site and others in the neighborhood. Just north of this site across Fort Lowell Road (which will be closed to traffic from noon to 4 p.m.) in the Fort Commissary a descendant of the Mormon community will tell stories about early Mormon settlers in the area.
- Walking west on Fort Lowell Road, visitors will encounter the Post Trader's house, many adobe brick homes, and a narrow dirt road called El Callejo´n, the heart of the village of El Fuerte. Site hosts will be available to tell visitors about the history of the homes and neighborhood. There will be food trucks and music along the roadway. Way Out West will play nostalgic western and cowboy music and a youthful Mariachi group will also perform.
- A short distance further on the south side of Fort Lowell Road is San Pedro Chapel, which once served the village of El Fuerte and is now owned by the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association, Inc. At 2 p.m., two doctors will enlighten adult visitors about 19th Century medicine. One will give a lecture and the other will perform a mock surgical amputation.
- From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., in a building adjacent to the Chapel, children can make Mexican paper flowers with assistance from a group of volunteers.
A map of the sites with a schedule of events will be available at information booths in Fort Lowell Park, along Fort Lowell Road and at San Pedro Chapel.