Events at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park – June/July 2017

June 4, 2017

TUBAC – Arizona’s first State Park opening in 1957, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park was first founded by Jesuit, Eusebio Francisco Kino, who established a mission in Tumacacori in 1691, and Tubac became a mission farm and ranch. In 1776, as Juan Bautista de Anza set on his historic journey to found San Francisco, military authorities moved the garrison from Tubac to Tucson, and the unprotected settlers abandoned their homes. In 1976, an underground archaeological display was finished and visitors can now view portions of the original foundation, walls, and the plaza floor of the 1752 Presidio Commandant's quarters, as well as artifacts representing the various periods of Tubac's unique history.  

Today, the park holds a variety of cultural events each month. In June and July 2017, the park will hold the events listed below. Find out more at or call (520) 398-2252. The cost is the entry fee of $5 per adult and $2 per youth aged 7-13 unless otherwise noted below.

Frontier Printing Press Demonstrations – Friday, June 9, & Saturday, June 24; Saturday, July 15 & Tuesday, July 25, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. A knowledgeable volunteer demonstrates the Washington Hand Press used to print Arizona’s first newspaper in 1859 and answers questions about hand press printing, type setting, and other aspects of this marvel of industrial engineering. You will get to set type and print small samples to take with you.  

Ending June 15: Tubac’s Pioneer Families and the CATASTROPHE of Baca Float No. 3 Special Exhibit. You won’t want to miss this ground breaking exhibit that tells the story of how local homesteaders lost their lands to real estate speculators and political actions beyond their control.  Enjoy this fascinating story in the air-conditioned Presidio museum before it’s gone!  

Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration – Tuesday, July 4, 10 a.m. – Noon. Tubac Presidio State Historic Park will be the site of an assortment of free games for the kids including hula hoops, water balloon and bean bag toss, coin guess, and others. A face painter will be available to brighten kids’ faces.  Free hot dogs, nachos, and lemonade.  The “squirt-down” courtesy of the Tubac Fire Department will be the cooling grand finale. This old-fashioned family celebration is organized by the Tubac Chamber of Commerce with help from our local non-profit organizations. Park admission is FREE during the event.

Experience Our New Children’s Garden. The children’s garden by the schoolhouse allows children of all ages to play hopscotch, marbles, and jump-rope the old-fashioned way. The wonderful colors of the various flowers will attract you, along with butterflies and hummingbirds.  Come be as sunny as the sunflowers and delight in some summer fun.

Ongoing Exhibit: Unique 1800’s Ambulance. This exhibit at the Tubac Presidio is a rare original 1800’s period carriage called an ambulance.  It has been restored and modified to replicate the ambulance that Phocion R. Way, an engraver from Cincinnati, Ohio, rode on from Mesilla on the Rio Grande River to Tucson in June of 1858. Many other figures in Tubac’s Territorial history arrived here on this type of vehicle because of its comfort and speed.  Our ambulance was restored over thirteen months by Hanson Wheel and Wagon in Letcher, South Dakota and is the only known vehicle of its type on display anywhere in the world.  

Art Exhibit: The Arizona Cavalcade of History – The Alan B. Davis Gallery is open with 16 paintings by renowned Western artist William Ahrendt, each depicting a significant event in Arizona’s colorful history. The paintings and their historical narratives were featured as a special 16-part “Cavalcade of History” series in Arizona Highways magazine from 1987 through 1990.  Arizona Highways remembers this series as “among the magazine's most remembered illustrations.” The giclées reproductions on canvas were donated to the Tubac Historical Society in memory of longtime Tubac resident and businessman Alan B. Davis. The collection is on permanent display at the Tubac Presidio’s Otero Hall.  

WHAT:  Events at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

WHERE:  Tubac Presidio State Historic Park - located 45 miles south of Tucson on Interstate 19 at One Burruel Street in Tubac, AZ

WHEN:  Throughout the months of June and July 2017. Find out more by calling (520) 398-2252 or visit

For information about all 35 Arizona State Parks and Natural Areas, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Program and State Historic Preservation Office call 1-877-MY-PARKS or visit

Learn More about Tubac Presidio State Historic Park