The 9th annual Ladies Day in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will celebrate the everyday life skills, creative past times and daily work tasks of women that lived in early San Diego from 1821 to 1872. This year’s event takes place Saturday, June 2, from noon to 5 p.m. Don your favorite hat – historic, modern, or fanciful – for the event. If your head wear represents 1821 to 1872, you may participate in the historic hat contest for a small entry fee.

“Ladies Day in Old Town will showcase activities that are fun and educational for both children and adults,” said Deanna Turton, volunteer chair of the event. “It is our hope that people will walk away knowing what it was like to live in San Diego in the mid-1800s and appreciate how the founding families mastered the life skills needed to survive and make a home for their families.”

California State Park staff, volunteers, and specially invited volunteers will demonstrate the labors and leisure activities of Old Town’s founding families — 19th century games, crafts, hair styling, dancing and much more.

Scheduled activities include:
•    11 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. — A children’s Make-and-Take Hat Making Booth.
•    1 p.m. — Presentation by Dydia DeLyser, author of Ramona Memories. Book signing to follow in Casa de Estudillo.
•    2 p.m. — Judging of the Historic Hat Contest. Entry forms available at the Visitor Information Center.
•    1 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Garden Tea in Casa de Estudillo. The cost for this event is $10.

This year, the park will be unveiling new exhibits in the patio area of the Casa de Estudillo. These displays are part of a larger project to refurbish the exhibits throughout the adobe, which use models and artifacts to help visitors better understand the way of life during that time. .

Other events will be featured throughout the day including tours of the native plant garden given by members of the Native Plant Society, a plant sale, a historic photography exhibit and traditional soap making and period cooking demonstrations.

This event is sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and BOOSTERS of Old Town, which also supports the event and other educational programs in the park.

Free parking is available in the CALTRANS parking lot off Taylor Street, one block from the park. For more information, call the Visitor Information Center at 619-220-5422 or visit the park website at,

The preliminary rounds of the Fiesta de Reyes Folklorico competition last Saturday and Sunday produced four top teams who will go on to battle for a $1,000 grand prize of during the finale performance May 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The Folklorico finale is a main attraction of the Fiesta Cinco de Mayo weekend, happening throughout Old Town San Diego State Historic Park May 4 through 6.

“Everyone was impressed with the talent showcased at last weekend’s preliminary competition,” said Chuck Ross, owner and operator of Fiesta de Reyes, who sponsored the free event. “The best teams from Southern California gave outstanding performances and the top two from each day were invited back to compete for the grand prize next Sunday.”

The Fiesta de Reyes Folklorico Competition celebrates the traditional, energetic dance of Mexico’s traditional Ballet Folklorico. The finalists that qualified at last Saturday’s competition were Real de San Diego Grupo and Folklórico Orgullo Mexicano.  The other two finalists, Tierra Caliente and Ballet Folklorico Tapatio, qualified in the second round last Sunday.

Fiesta de Reyes is located within Old Town San Diego State Historic Park at Wallace and Calhoun streets, a one-block stroll from the Old Town Trolley Station.  Free parking is available in the Caltrans parking lot all day on weekends. For more information, call (619) 297-3100 or visit