TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The public is invited to visit the historic Fort Lowell neighborhood and celebrate Tucson's bygone days at the 38th Annual Fort Lowell Day/La Reunión de El Fuerte Celebration, Saturday, Feb.10, 2018. The day includes a wide variety of free activities and displays where visitors 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. During that time, it has served as a prehistoric Hohoka´m farming community, a U.S. Army post during the Apache Wars, a Mexican immigrant farming community, and a Mormon immigrant farming community.
After the Fort was decommissioned in 1891 and abandoned, Mexican farmers and ranchers began moving into the area, forming a community known as El Fuerte or The Fort. Many examples of their Sonoran-style adobe homes can be seen today.
The ruins of Ft Lowell are now in 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 /La Reunio´n de El Fuerte Celebration is presented by the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Association, Inc. and the Fort Lowell Historic Zone Advisory Board to highlight the area's rich history. Most events will take place from noon until 4 p.m. and include:
- 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., vintage baseball will be played by the rules of the late 1800s. This year the Bisbee Black Sox will play a double-header against the Tucson Saguaros. Both teams are part of the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League.
- Noon, a flag raising ceremony in the park will officially open the event.
- 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 Regimental Band will play 19th Century music.
- 2 p.m. in the historic San Pedro Chapel, two doctors will enlighten adult visitors about 19th Century medicine. One will give a lecture on medical techniques and instruments used in the 1800s, and the other will perform a mock surgical amputation.
Throughout the Fort Lowell Day celebration, there will be a variety of exhibits and games for children, including places where they can make adobe bricks and Mexican paper flowers.
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.
Site hosts will be available to tell visitors about the history of the homes and neighborhood. There will be food trucks and music at several locations. The group Way Out West will play nostalgic western and cowboy music, and a youthful Mariachi group will also perform.
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.