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Events celebrate Arizona centennial

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Events celebrate Arizona centennial

  • Events are planned throughout the weekend to celebrate Arizona's 100th birthday.
    Events are planned throughout the weekend to celebrate Arizona's 100th birthday.

On February 14, 1912, Arizona became the 48th state admitted to the Union. Beginning Friday, Tucson will be celebrating and showcasing our state's history with music, dance, food and lectures.

Tuesday, Centennial Day

Pima Community College tree plantings. In honor of Arizona's birthday PCC will plant desert willows at each campus and their district office at 4905 E. Broadway Blvd. The first planting will be at the district office in the new desert garden in front of buildings C&D. The rest of the plantings are as follows:

  • 9 a.m.: West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Rd.
  • 9:30 a.m.: Community Campus, 401 N. Bonita Ave.
  • 10 a.m.: East Campus, 8181 E. Irvington Rd.
  • 10:30 a.m.: Northwest Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Rd.
  • 11 a.m.: Desert Vista Campus, 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz
  • Noon: Downtown Campus, 1255 N. Stone Ave. The downtown campus will also feature speakers and a centennial display.

Tohono Chul Park. Celebrate the centennial with free admission to Tohono Chul Park. Spring has sprung early at the park. Visit their website for photos of flowers currently in bloom. A walking tour of the park starts at 9 a.m. 7366 N. Paseo del Norte.

100 Years of Arizona’s Best: The Minerals That Made the State. The University of Arizona's Mineral Museum is showcasing Arizona minerals on loan from collectors and the state's rich mining history.  10 a.m. - 3p.m. General admission $7.50 for adults, $5 for children younger than 15 and free for 4 and under. 1601 E. University Blvd.

Arizona's Centennial Birthday at Tubac. 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Arizona's first European settlement will celebrate with an open house free free park admission. 1 Burruel St., Tubac.

“A Celebration of Citizenship in Arizona’s Past, Present, and Future.” 1:15 p.m. A commemoration of Arizona's history, celebrating the citizens that made it happen and a discussion on the rights and responsibilities of today's citizens. Paul Eckstein will speak about the impact of Arizona's founding citizens and Gerda Weissmann Klein will share her experience as a naturalized citizen. 1300 E. Sixth St.

Saguaro National Park. The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees for the day in honor of Arizona's birthday. Camping fees apply.

Arizona for Newcomers. 2 p.m. Greg McNamee will discuss how Arizona's unique cuisine, arts and traditions make the Valentine sate special. McNamee is a writer, photographer and editor who has published 30 books. Salazar-Ajo Branch Library, 33 Plaza, Ajo, AZ, 85321

"Becoming Arizona: The Valentine State" The University of Arizona Library Special Collections is hosting a year long exhibit recreating Arizona's colorful past. Visiting hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.  Monday-Friday.1510 E. University Blvd.

"The Sleeping Giant vs. the Politics of Fear: Arizona's Hispanic Society in the Twenty-First Century." 7p.m.- 8:30 p.m. The lecture is the second of three talks in the Centennial Lecture Series in conjunction with the display by the UA Special Collections. Professor Thomas E. Sheridan will discuss his work researching the growth of the Hispanic population in Arizona and their potential to transform the Arizona political culture. 1510 E. University Blvd. Free.

Feb. 18

"100 Years, 100 Quilts."  Exhibit opening. 12 p.m. The exhibition features 100 quilts depicting Arizona history. Arizona History Museum. General admission $3.  949 E. Second St.

Prior events

Friday, Feb. 10

2nd Saturdays Downtown. 4 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. 2nd Saturdays will break from the norm by kicking off on Friday and with events throughout the weekend.

Friday's festivities kick off with an antique airplane fly-by. The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona will present the American flag flown over downtown in 1912. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will raise the flag. Jim Click Automotive Stage, Sixth Avenue and Pennington Street.

Jim Click Automotive Stage:

  • 4:30 p.m. The Camino Royales will entertain with rockabilly and surf inspired tunes. 
  • 5:30 p.m. Heather 'Lil Mama' Hardy Band. Violinist Heather Hardy is member of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame and will showcase her newest album, "Get Out of the Road," a combination of blues and soul. 
  • 6:45 p.m. Kevin Pakulis Band brings a rockin'  a mix of country, blues and rock to the stage.
  • 8 p.m. Jerry Riopelle headlines the show with a mix of country, jazz, reggae, rock, and rhythm and blues.

Scott Avenue Stage:

Fox Theatre. 7 p.m. Living statues, arts activities and vendors will line Congress Street while indoors,  the theater will celebrate with African American music and culture. 17 W. Congress

Arizona Centennial Celebration- Classic Series. 8 p.m. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra will perform pieces featuring Native American flute by R. Carlos Nakai. Tickets available online.

Saturday, Feb. 11

Tucson Presidio Living History Day. 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. After the booming of the Presidio cannon, cake and lemonade will be served. Volunteers in period costumes will tell stories about life in the Spanish Colonial days. Free. 133 W. Washington St.

Fort Lowell Day Celebration. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. The day will start with a walking tour of historic sites then continue with a baseball game played using 19th-century rules. There also will be cavalry re-enactments. Free. Fort Lowell Park. Craycroft/Fort Lowell.

2nd Saturdays Downtown 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Music, art, youth activities and food will fill downtown all day. Highlights include a ferris wheel,  a performance by the Poi-Zen Fire Troupe at 6:45 p.m. and headlining act Sam the Legendary Soul Man Moore at 8 p.m on the Jim Click Automotive Stage. Musical acts include Los Changuitos Feos, Ronstadt Generations, and The Tryst. For full lineup, visit 2nd Saturdays' website.

The Scott Avenue Stage. At Broadway.  Kid-approved performances by an illusionist, puppets, dancers, musical and circus artists. For more events and timesm visit 2nd Saturdays' website.

Indoor Activities:

UA Downtown. This new outlet of the University of Arizona will showcase special merchandise and exhibits of student work focused on downtown Tucson. 44 N. Stone Ave. 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.

“A Special Chat with Noted Tucsonans of the Past,” feature interview re-enactments with famous historic Arizona figures and films depicting Southern Arizona life in the early 20th century. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. 1:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. Free. Live music will also be featured starting at 7 p.m.

AZ 100 Indie Films. Selected films from independent Arizona filmmakers will be featured for the first time. The Screening Room 127 E. Congress 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

Powerhaus Productions presents Arizona GEM. This event will feature local performances from DJs, bands, emcees, dancing and more al in celebration of the Arizona history and the Gem Show. Rialto Theatre 318 E. Congress St. All ages, 6 p.m. -9 p.m.; 18 and after 9 p.m., $5.

The following downtown museums will be open during the day:

Arizona 100: A Celebration Through the Lens of Time. A look at Arizona's history through anthropology, history, poetry, tree-ring research, music, natural history, visual imagery, archaeology, dance and astronomy. Free; seating is first-come first-served. Centennial Hall. 1020 E. University Blvd.

Santa Rita High School Centennial Fair.- 5 p.m. The Santa Rita Eagles will host a free fair with live music, food vendors, a classic car show and family activities. 3951 S Pantano Rd.


2nd Saturdays Downtown. 

  • Centennial Bike Ride. 9 a.m.  Learn to identify native trees and enjoy a 1.5 hour bike ride starting at the southeast corner of Broadway Boulevard and Scott Avenue.
  • Fox Theatre children's concert featuring Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. 1 p.m. 17 W. Congress.
  • Arizona Civil Rights Memories. 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. A panel discussion moderated by former Arizona public servants. Scottish Rite Cathedral. 160 S. Scott Ave.
  • Tardeada. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. A centennial themed afternoon party  with live music and dancing. 

Arizona Centennial Celebration- Classic Series. 2 p.m. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra will perform pieces featuring Native American flute by R. Carlos Nakai. Tickets available online.

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