Tucson celebrates two important birthdays on August 20 each year.
Tucson began with the fort Tucson Presidio San Agustin, founded on that date in 1775 and it stood through the 1880’s. Only a portion of the wall remains today on the original site as the city has grown up around it. A territorial museum with courtyard and exhibits from early Tucson history has been created on the spot at the corner of Washington & Court Street. It comes to life during Living History Days (the second Saturday of the month, October through April) with performers in period dress going about the duties of early daily life, baking bread, blacksmithing, etc. There is a self-guided tour of the museum including a munitions room, tower, commissary & living space for the soldiers who lived here then. An open Hohokam pit house is also featured. Winter hours are 10AM-4PM and an hour less in the summer.
A 240th birthday celebration is held annually with birthday cake, cannon fire & living history demonstrations along with local groups and dignitaries making an appearance. Check the website for information about upcoming events and exhibits.
And the second important birthday this August 20 is the very first one for the Reid Park Zoo’s famous baby elephant, Nandi. A special birthday breakfast will be held for her at 7AM, and tickets sold out very quikly. Another event will be held on August 22 where the public can watch Nandi receive birthday treats and sing Happy Birthday along with the staff. Nandi is a big baby now, weighing more than 900 pounds, but somehow she still appears tiny next to her much larger brother and parents. If you missed her birthday she’ll still be available during regular zoo hours, usually 9AM to 4PM. Don’t miss a visit to this special baby.