–Free Event Every Saturday in July and August in Old Town —

TwainFest

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is celebrating travel and transportation in the era of real horsepower during “Stagecoach Days” kicking off on July 5. Come join in the old fashioned fun from the mid-1800s from noon to 5 p.m. on eight Saturdays in July and August.

Sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes, the free event features a different theme each Saturday such as: Days of the Vaqueros, Women of the West, Soldiers and Citizens, TwainFest and Taste of the Past.

Attendees will enjoy afternoons filled with activities that reflect life in early San Diego and celebrate the West on the move. Through living history activities and demonstrations, stories and songs, visitors will gain an appreciation for early modes of transportation and daily life. All activities are geared toward children and adults of all ages.

“This year’s Stagecoach Days will be the best in our park’s history,” stated Event Coordinator Gregg Giacopuzzi. “We have added many more family friendly activities to the event this year so visitors will get a true taste of what Old Town was like in the 1800s.”

This year also marks the 150th anniversary of California State Parks. As part of the statewide celebration, special commemorative aspects will be added to Stagecoach Days.

The Stagecoach Days schedule is as follows:

July 5 – “Games and Amusements” — Play is perhaps the most universal social activity, and games are among the oldest recorded institutions. Traditional games and amusements of the 1800s featured including egg races, tug of war, croquet, contra dance, and circus performers.

July 12 — “Trades That Shaped Westward Expansion” — As towns developed in the West so did the need for specialized trades and artisans. Old Town San Diego will present pivotal 19th century trades that helped shape the community of San Diego.

July 19– “Women of the West” — Women played an important part in the development of the West. Some of their daily activities will be demonstrated on this Saturday. One of the highlights of the day will be a quilt walk that features quilts celebrating the 150th Anniversary of California State Parks.

July 26 — “Soldiers and Citizens” — The military has been part of San Diego since its inception. Following the Mexican American War, dragoons, the Mormon Battalion and the Boundary Commission all had an impact on life in San Diego.

August 2 — “Taste of the Past” — What we eat, how we acquire it, who prepares it, how it is prepared are part of our cultural make up. This day will explore what was part of the dining experiences for people in early San Diego. While you learn about the foods of the past you will be able to sample modern tastes that evoke that time provided by the food purveyors in the park.

August 9 – “Days of the Vaquero” – Vaqueros were the first cowboys in California. Highly skilled horsemen and cattle herders, they were an integral part of the early cattle trade in California. The day will celebrate their natural horsemanship techniques and other aspects of Californio culture.

August 16 – “TwainFest” – This wildly popular festival celebrates literacy and the literary works of Mark Twain and other 19th-century authors. Excerpts from famous works will be presented by costumed San Diego actors at a variety of park venues throughout the day.

August 23 –“West on the Move” — The California Gold Rush brought thousands of people to San Diego. Some stayed, many more pasted through seeking their fortunes up north. Today, California State Parks will present demonstrations and activities that were part of the lives of these people on the move.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, with the support of the Boosters of Old Town and donation from Fiesta de Reyes, is proud to offer these free activities for adults and children of all ages. The park is located on San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street in San Diego, and is conveniently located next to the Old Town Transit Center, with Coaster, Trolley, and MTS bus service. Free parking is available at the CalTrans headquarters, just two blocks from the park at 4050 Taylor St.

For more information, go to http://www.parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego or call (619) 220-5422.

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