Celebrate Anza Day at Canoa Ranch

Celebrate Anza Day at Canoa Ranch

GREEN VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Exhibits paying tribute to Ballet Folklorico, a historic land swindle and the ranching history of Canoa Ranch will highlight Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation's fifth annual Anza Day celebration on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Historic Canoa Ranch, 5375 S. I-19 Frontage Road in Green Valley. The event is free and open to the public.

The Ballet Folklorico exhibit features costumes representing various regions of Mexico and is available for viewing for a suggested $10 donation. It opened Sept. 30 and will remain on display through Oct. 25.

The exhibit titled "BACA Float #3" chronicles a controversial land swindle that took place in the 1800s. The Cabeza de Baca's petitioned the Spanish rule in Durango for a sizable portion of land in and around present-day Las Vegas, New Mexico. Through various means, some dubious, Baca was awarded the ground in 1826.

In 1860, Cabeza de Baca's heirs participated in a giant land swap to accommodate the growing town of Las Vegas. They ceded their grant of 500,000 acres for five equal parts to be located throughout the Nuevo Mexico vastness, an area that not only held New Mexico, but also encompassed present-day Colorado and Arizona. However, the BACA Float #3 land already had homesteaders on it. Families were forcibly removed from their homesteads.

The Scotch Farm exhibit tells the story of the cattle ranch, located at the Ajo/I-19 interchange. Levi Manning purchased Scotch Farm for its cattle and began the transformation of Canoa Ranch into the premiere cattle ranch in the Santa Cruz Valley.

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Juan Bautista de Anza was a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Spanish cavalry and commander of the Tubac Presidio. When he led a 240-person expedition to northern California in 1775-76, the group spent its first night at the paraje, or campsite, at the site of Canoa Ranch.

Visitors can tour historic ranch buildings and corrals, and enjoy an Anza Expedition exhibit and an appearance by the Anza Trail Color Guard.

The schedule of activities includes:

  • Self-guided tours
  • Ballet Folklorico La Paloma performance
  • Anza Trail Color Guard re-enactment
  • Exhibits related to the history of Canoa Ranch and the people who lived there
  • Food and drink for purchase
  • Vendors and Information booths
  • Green Valley Gardeners

In 2001, Pima County purchased and began to restore the 4,800-acre Canoa Ranch complex with voter-approved 1997 and 2004 bond funds. Pima County opened the ranch headquarters to the public in March 2013.

For more information about the ranch, including volunteer opportunities and free guided tours, please visit Historic Hacienda de la Canoa online, call 520-724-5520 or email CanoaRanch@pima.gov.

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