Each Saturday, visitors can enjoy a different themed event that celebrates 19th century San Diego history and culture. Through living history activities, demonstrations, stories, dance, and songs, visitors will gain appreciation for the struggles as well as jubilations of daily life in early San Diego.
This year, the park added a new family-friendly special event. San Diego Day will commemorate San Diego’s 250th birthday.
The summer special events are:
July 4 (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) “An 1800’s Independence Day Celebration” – Come and celebrate a historic Independence Day with staff and volunteers in Old Town. The day includes a parade around the plaza, an old-fashion square dance, 19th century crafts and games. The day culminates with a visually stunning pie-eating contest for all ages.
July 13 (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) “San Diego Day” – This day celebrates 250 years of diverse cultures in San Diego. This fun-filled day will have information and activities about the many cultures that have contributed to make San Diego what it is today.
July 27 (noon-4 p.m.) “Women of the West” – Women played an important role in the development of the West. Their contributions and skills will be shown through living history activities and demonstrations with special emphasis on quilting, spinning, cooking, and basket making.
Aug. 3 (noon-4 p.m.) “Trades that Shaped the West” – As towns developed in the West, so did the need for specialized trades and artisans. Old Town will present 19th century trades that helped shape the community of San Diego.
Aug. 10 (noon-4 p.m.) “Soldiers and Citizens” – The military has been part of San Diego since the inception. Following the Mexican-American war, the soldiers of many cultures had an impact on life in San Diego. See historic uniforms, weapons, demonstrations, and listen to the soldiers’ stories.
Aug. 18 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) “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 depicted by costumed San Diego actors at a variety of park venues throughout the day.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, with the support of the Boosters of Old Town, the County of San Diego, Wells Fargo, and Fiesta de Reyes, supports these free activities for visitors of all ages. The park is on San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street, located next to the Old Town Transit Center, with Coaster, Trolley, and MTS bus service. Free parking is available at the CalTrans headquarters, two blocks from the park at 2994 Sunset St.
For more information, go to parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego or call 619-220-5422