Public Enemy No. 1 still lurks at Hotel Congress during Dillinger Days
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Public Enemy No. 1 still lurks at Hotel Congress during Dillinger Days

The 1934 capture of outlaw John Dillinger following a fire at Hotel Congress is highlighted every year by the downtown hotel and club. This year's reenactment takes place all day Saturday, with a speakeasy fundraiser for the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation on Friday night.

Friday's event is sold out, but a few walk-up tickets may be available.

Saturday, a series of free activities will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., including a vintage car show, tours of the historic hotel, carnival games, and three action-packed live stagings of the capture of the legendary bankrobber.

Dillinger was captured along with accomplices when a fire broke out on the top floor of what was then a three-story hotel. A fireman who retrieved the gang's luggage recognized them later from photos in "True Detective" magazine, and the criminals were tracked a nearby home on North 4th Avenue. Dillinger later escaped from an Indiana jail after being extradited.

The hotel will recall the era just after Prohibition with whiskey tastings, featuring Tucson's Whiskey Del Bac, as well as Four Roses, Pappy Van Winkle, Copper City, Old Forester, Hudson, Dickel Sour Mash, and Templeton Rye.

Between dramatic stagings of Dillinger's escapades, the Kings of Pleasure and Desert Melodies will perform.

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Mariana Dale/

A scene from 2012's Dillinger Days.