January 18, 2002

Celebrate San Diego's New Pueblo Status (1835) at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

For the first time ever, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is having exciting themes for each month for all the living history activities and events of the year. Living History involves making history come alive with people dressed in historical period clothing by demonstrating or reenacting historic events, trades, or crafts. Special reenactments will take place primarily on the Fourth Saturday of every month. January 26th will be the first Special Reenactment from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This month's theme is Celebrate San Diego's New Pueblo Status. It's 1835 and Mexico has just conferred (town) status on San Diego. Visitors can watch the installation of officers (Juan Osuna as alcalde and Henry Fitch as city attorney) and celebrate.

Here is a brief description of the days events:

As the world turns, so do the lives of the people in the new pueblo of San Diego on January 1st, 1835. Watch as Juan Osuna is installed as the first Alcalde (mayor), along with the Ayuntamiento (town council). Listen to the tall tales of Pio Pico (defeated by Osuna) as he gambles with his cronies. Admire the newly-baptized baby of Josefa and Henry Fitch (new Sindaco Procurador, or city attorney) - But were they legitimately married to begin with? And what about Josefa's gambling problem? Then there's poor little Rosa Machado - can devout Apolinaria Lorenzana, or the Indian servant Cande-laria, reduce her high fever with herbs and prayer? Visitors can observe a day in the life of the townspeople, from the native Kumayaay Indians laboring to prepare for the fiesta to the town's most prominent citizens and their families.

These scenes will culminate in a fiesta given by that famous party-giver and revolutionary, Juan Bandini.

Special tours will be offered, along with programs and maps to enable visitors to explore by themselves-by following characters from one location to another or staying to watch a particular scene unfold.

In order to bring this historical day to live, we are looking for volunteer actors and living history interpreters/reenactors who can create characters and improvise according to the scenarios and historic information that we will provide. The training program starts January 13th, 2002 at 2 p.m. and goes for six weeks (skipping Super Bowl Sunday).

Come and join us for this fun, original and educational Living History event, and participate in a day in the life of our town during the colorful heyday of the Californios.

Living History, on a more intimate scale, also takes place several times weekly but especially on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

To get to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park from Interstate 5, take Old Town Avenue exit and turn left on San Diego Avenue. From Interstate 8, take Taylor Street exit; then turn left on Congress Street. Visitors are always encouraged to take the Trolley Coaster or bus to the Old Town Transit Center.

If you would like further information please call our 24-hour information line- (619) 293-0117, or the State Park Visitor Center line at (619) 220-5422.

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